MEDIA RELEASE: LNP Imposes Great Environmental Stress On The Barrier Reef
Aerial studies have confirmed that severe bleaching events now affect two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef, with this year’s bleaching event extending 500km south of last year’s.
Yet the LNP still stands by its decision to remove Labor’s land clearing laws and to reduce the Coral Sea marine park protections.
Reefs require clean water, low in pollutants and sediments, to repair and thrive.
Without land clearing laws and Coral Sea protections in place, the LNP are depriving the reef of the clean water it requires to bounce back from bleaching events.
Shadow Minister for Environment and Water Tony Burke said, “The Great Barrier Reef has never been put on the ‘in danger’ list, but the Australian Government’s reckless treatment of the Reef creates the live possibility we could end up there.
The reef being is being attacked from the west by the Government failing to act on land clearing, from the east by suspending the Coral Sea marine national park and from above by refusing to act on climate change.
It’s a triple threat.”
The rate of tree clearing in Queensland has almost doubled since 2011-2012 after the LNP gutted Labor’s land clearing laws in 2013. This is the equivalent of decimating approximately 360,000 football fields every year.
A proportion of this land clearing is occurring in Great Barrier Reef catchment areas, and this sort of land clearing removes trees and shrubs that hold the land together, causing sediment to flush out onto the reef.
Adding to this localised environmental pressure, bleaching events are increasing in severity and frequency but the LNP has no plan to address the cause: climate change.
“Pollution has risen ever since the Turnbull-Abbott Government took charge, and according to their own projections will continue to rise as far as projections go, to 2030,” said the Shadow Climate Change and Energy Minister Mark Butler.
“As Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull has taken no steps to take serious action on climate change, if fact he’s going backwards.
“Under this Government the nation will fail to meet our international commitments under the Paris Agreement, failing current and future generations of Australians.”
The combination of the LNP removing protections for the Coral Sea, trashing Labor’s land clearing laws and having no plan for climate change puts the Great Barrier Reef in the dangerous position of not being afforded a chance to recover.
MONDAY 10 APRIL 2017
THE HON TONY BURKE MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIZENSHIP AND MULTICULTURAL AUSTRALIA
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS
MEMBER FOR WATSON
THE HON MARK BUTLER MP
SHADOW MINISTER CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
MEMBER FOR PORT ADELAIDE