Plea for feds to ditch power plan
PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk has again called for the Federal Government to scrap its plans for a new coalfired power station in North Queensland, arguing it will hurt the Great Barrier Reef.
Ms Palaszczuk ( right) said it was time for the Commonwealth to abandon its power station plan.
“What the Federal Government should be doing, as well as the state LNP is ruling out a brand new coalfired power station on the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef,” she said.
Ms Palaszczuk dismissed suggestions the state should also ditch plans for the Adani mine to ensure the Reef was protected.
“My government ... we have ensured there is no dumping of dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef.
“It has to be dumped on land,” she said.”
REEF tourism operators hope UNESCO’s decision not to list the living wonder “in danger” will lift their drop- in visitor numbers.
UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee endorsed Australia’s Reef 2050 plan to protect the iconic asset, avoiding any international embarrassment for the $ 6.4 billion- a- year tourist drawcard.
But the WHC did express “serious concern” about the ongoing health of the reef including water quality targets and land clearing laws in Queensland.
Dive boat operators welcomed the UNESCO decision as a “golden opportunity” to overhaul adverse global publicity about the fate of the Reef after devastating back- to- back mass coral bleaching events.
“No doubt tourist numbers to the Reef are down for May and June, and that’s across the board for the whole industry,’’ said Cairns- based Tusa Dive owner Phil Hobbs. “But things are starting to pick up and hopefully this ruling can have a positive impact on both tourism and the Reef in general, our livelihoods depend on it.’’
Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said the decision was a “big win for Australia” with the Government due to next report back in three years.
“We’re taking every action possible to ensure this great wonder of the world stays viable and healthy for future generations to come,” he said.
Queensland Environment Minister Steven Miles said the state had invested $ 63 million on protecting the Reef and the decision was crucial to the state’s tourism industry.
He said it was up to the Turnbull Government to support Queensland Labor’s new tree clearing laws and take action on reducing emissions and climate change.
The Great Barrier Reef Foundation, who last week released a Deloitte report on the $ 56 billion value of the reef, said it was “a system under serious pressure”.
“We need to buy the Reef time,’’ said GBR Foundation’s Anna Marsden.
“We must do everything we can to boost resilience, investing in strategies for its longterm conservation.”
Townsville’s “Godfather of Coral” Dr John “Charlie” Veron said coral bleaching was the most visible evidence of climate change.
“The WHC rightly identifies that implementing strong laws in the Reef catchments that clean up farm water pollution and stop excessive tree clearing are vital,’’ Dr Veron told the WHC meeting in Poland.
“But sadly the last two years have shown that the impacts of climate change are vastly outpacing the local management efforts.
“Every country must do its fair share to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees.”
TOURISM BOOST: UNESCO will not list the Great Barrier Reef as “in danger”.