News

Great Barrier Reef in danger according to UN report

Australia's Great Barrier Reef is one of the major drivers of international visitors.
Australia's Great Barrier Reef is one of the major drivers of international visitors. Darren Jew

THE State Government is convinced it will avoid the Great Barrier Reef being deemed under threat by United Nations' environmental arm after UNESCO raised concerns in a new report.

The group gave some praise to both the Queensland and Federal Government but warned that with up to 43 proposed developments along the coastline of the reef, UNESCO would still recommend the reef's status be listed as "in danger".

To avoid this, both levels of government must act before February 1 next year.

Queensland Environment Minister Andrew Powell said the LNP government was already reviewing Gladstone Harbour and putting together a ports strategy - two issues highlighted in the report.

It was already assessing the health of the reef through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority with the Federal Government.

UNESCO named the $1 billion Balaclava Island coal terminal planned by Glencore-Xstrata 40km north of Gladstone along with the $1.2 billion Fitzroy Terminal near Port Alma as being of particular concern.

"The work we have under way - and it's acknowledged in the draft report - will be completed by the timeframes set by UNESCO," Mr Powell said.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard also said the improvements would be made, citing a $200 million commitment to Reef Rescue, a program that helps primary producers improve their water quality.

"It's about working with farmers in a way that increases their productivity but also decreases the amount of run-off that then goes into the waters of the Great Barrier Reef," she said.

World Wildlife Foundation Australia disagreed - it felt UNESCO had put Australia in the sin bin.

Spokesman Richard Leck referred to parts of the report in which UNESCO demanded no new port developments beyond already designated areas and that building along the coast of the reef be restricted.

Topics:  great barrier reef, unesco, united nations




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'All I heard when my baby cried was ‘you’re a terrible mum'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images of Katie Dykes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

KATIE'S battle with PND is not unlike many mothers.

'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

MELTOPIA battled PND with all four of her children.

4 survival tips for mummas heading back to work

The few reminders every working mum needs to read.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Why central Queensland jobs matter in this election

Kristy Harling asked politicians on ABC's Q and A what they were going to do to stop central Queensland cities from turning in to "ghost towns".

A plea for attention on the central Queensland jobs crisis

Govt denies help to struggling family facing medical crisis

ACCESS DENIED: Queensland Health told Mary-Ann Flenady landed in Brisbane on Thursday but paid for the flights herself, even though her husband was transferred as an emergency patient.

Biloela mum uses money for overdue bills to fly to Brisbane hospital

Latest deals and offers

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward