UN call on Reef a win for NQ
THE UNESCO World Heritage Committee decision that the Great Barrier Reef won’t be listed as in danger is being heralded as positive for North Queensland.
Yesterday, there was a unanimous vote and even applause for Environment Minister Greg Hunt and his delegation at the UNESCO 39th session of the World Heritage Committee, for their draft management plan for the coral reef.
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said it was good news for the region and for tourism.
“We didn’t want people to think we were some sort of environmental vandals, because we do value the reef,” she said.
“The things that are influencing the reef are worldwide phenomena and I think that was recognised by UNESCO.
“I’m sure a lot of dive shops and tourism operators will all be breathing a sigh of relief.”
Townsville Enterprise chief executive officer Patricia O’Callaghan said the decision was positive.
“The Great Barrier Reef is one of the country’s most valuable natural assets and this decision by the WHC overnight is the right one and is based on science and fact,” she said.
It’s a great
day for Townsville and it’s a great day for Australia MP EWEN JONES
“The WHC has acknowledged what we have known for some time and what our State and Federal Governments have worked hard to prove – the Great Barrier Reef is the best managed reef system in the world and both tourism and economic development can progress confidently while operating within the GBR.”
Federal MP for Herbert Ewen Jones said he was “over the moon” that the Environment Minister’s dedication to preserving the Great Barrier Reef had paid off.
“It’s a great day for Townsville and it’s a great day for Australia,” he said.
Mr Hunt may have a battle convincing Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who famously slammed Australia last year for its reef management.
He invited DiCaprio to come join him on a dive or snorkel on the reef.
Mr Hunt said new policies were already seeing water quality improving.