30 May 2016
ALP REEF POLICY A GOOD FIRST STEP BUT FUNDING FALLS FAR SHORT
The Fight For The Reef campaign today welcomed the Australian Labor Party's Reef policy as a good first step but said much more funding was needed.
“$377 million in new money to tackle water quality is the most significant announcement so far but falls far short of what is required,” said WWF-Australia spokesperson Nick Heath.
“Coral bleaching figures released today show that huge areas of the Reef have died,” he said.
“This package of measures will not be enough to turn around the decline of our national icon,” said AMCS spokesperson Imogen Zethoven.
“It will not be enough to secure 69,000 Reef jobs along the Queensland coast."
“Missing in this statement is a major commitment to introduce regulations for a cap on farm pollution entering the Reef’s waters and a multi-billion package for catchment repair and Reef-safe farming – both measures critical to return clean waters to the Reef."
“In 2007 during the millennium drought the Murray-Darling Basin was in crisis and the Federal Government announced a $10 billion rescue package that has since expanded to almost $13 billion,” Ms Zethoven said.
“The Reef faces a similar level of distress,” Mr Heath said.
“It’s important governments take advice from independent experts on the level of future funding and legislative requirements for the Reef."
“Last week the Reef Taskforce Report recommended that a catchment cap on Reef pollution be legislated but this policy is silent on this critical issue.”
“WWF and AMCS look forward to the release of the independent report being prepared for the Queensland Government on the costs of fixing water quality flowing to the Reef,” he said.
WWF-Australia Media Contact: Mark Symons, Senior Media Officer, 0400 985 571