Wildlife, trees prom­i­nent

Poll shows most be­lieve reef is in a state of ‘de­cline’

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

A NEW re­port has found Aus­tralians’ con­cern about the state of the coun­try’s en­vi­ron­ment is ris­ing, with pro­tect­ing the Great Bar­rier Reef the top con­cern.

The Back­yard Barom­e­ter shows we’re con­cerned about our forests, beaches, oceans and wildlife, and over­whelm­ingly sup­port more ac­tion to pro­tect nat­u­ral habi­tats.

“It has been en­cour­ag­ing to see such a strong sense of own­er­ship among Aus­tralians when it comes to their ‘big back­yard’ with is­sues such as the Great Bar­rier Reef, cli­mate change, plas­tic pol­lu­tion and tree clear­ing al­ready front of mind,” WWF Aus­tralia CEO Der­mot O’Gor­man said. Pro­tect­ing Aus­tralia’s en­dan­gered an­i­mals, forests and trees ranked sec­ond, with 93 per cent say­ing their pro­tec­tion is im­por­tant.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, Aus­tralians most want to see koalas pro­tected, fol­lowed by whales and bil­bies.

The re­port con­firmed spend­ing time in the “great out­doors” was part of the Aus­tralian way of life.

In the past two years, three out of four Aus­tralians have vis­ited a na­tional part or na­ture re­serve.

But 82 per cent said they were con­cerned the younger gen­er­a­tion would grow up with less ac­cess to na­ture and wildlife.

Eighty nine per cent of re­spon­dents agreed there should be in­vest­ment in restor­ing the en­vi­ron­ment, and 81 per cent said we should grow more trees than we cut down.

Other ar­eas of con­cern for re­spon­dents to the Back­yard Barom­e­ter were the her­itage listed Dain­tree For­rest near Cape Tribu­la­tion north of Port Dou­glas, Tas­ma­nian forests, Kakadu Na­tional Park in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory, Uluru, the Snowy Moun­tains in NSW, Nin­ga­loo Reef off Western Aus­tralia and the Kim­berly.

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