Reef authority's timeline on permits slammed by auditor

THE authority tasked with protecting the Great Barrier Reef is being pushed to accelerate its response to a damning Auditor-General report that has found shortcomings across its regulatory system.

Released yesterday, the report from the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit urges the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to speed up its response.

The authority had previously said it would take at least five years to improve its regulation of permits - problems that were highlighted in the original approval of a dredging project at Abbot Point.

The committee said it was "strongly concerned" about the audit's findings, labelling the authority's current aim to complete the response by 2020 as "distant" and needing to be "more rapidly advanced".

It asked the authority to report back in six months.



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