Jun 28, 2005

Great Barrier Reef Under Threat

Great Barrier Reef Under Threat

MEDIA RELEASE – Anthony Albanese MP – 28 June 2005

The Great Barrier Reef could be one of the first victims of the Government’s control of the Senate after 1 July 2005.

National Party Senator-elect, Barnaby Joyce and senior National MP, De-Anne Kelly, have both attacked the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). Environment Minister, Senator Ian Campbell, has refused to rule out its abolition.

Barnaby Joyce was quoted in the Courier Mail on 1 March 2005 opposing GBRMPA’s existence as an independent agency: “GBRMPA is out of control…We are having too many problems and we should bring it totally under government control and baby-sit it for a while.”

De-Anne Kelly said on 26 October 2004: “What we’ve had is a statutory body in GBRMPA that is out of control that has put, I think, no real scientific basis for the arguments they’ve put forward”.

Ian Campbell refused to rule out abolishing GBRMPA when directly asked in Senate Estimates on 26 May 2005.

Ian Campbell hasn’t even bothered to put the Great Barrier Reef on the National Heritage List.

Ian Campbell has form in abolishing key agencies – he’s abolished the Australian Greenhouse Office and the National Oceans Office. Now it looks like the Great Barrier Reef Authority could go the same way. This would be a major assault on our environment.

The Great Barrier Reef is one of our national environmental treasures, and a major job creator in northern Queensland.

It’s time the Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, Warren Entsch, defended GBRMPA. Don’t hold your breath – Warren Entsch supports the slaughter of whales and doesn’t understand how important a healthy environment is to the tourism industry.

The Great Barrier Reef deserves full protection.