The Federal Government is taking the next vital step to protect the Great Barrier Reef with the release of details of our plan to ban capital dredge material disposal in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
We are delivering on our commitment to end this century-old practice. This demonstrates our commitment to the Reef and the significant progress we are making to reduce cumulative pressures on this precious ecosystem.
This will represent a complete ban on capital dredge disposal in the entire Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. There will be zero capital disposal anywhere in the entire 345,000sq km Marine Park. This covers the full area of Commonwealth legislative control.
The Queensland Government has also committed to cover a further 3000sq km including existing port areas which are not in the Marine Park.
Together, the 345,000 sq km Commonwealth ban (100% of the Marine Park and 99% of the total ban) and the 3000 sq km Queensland ban (1% of the total ban) will cover 100% of the World Heritage area.
The ban will be put in law through regulation and will apply to all applications for capital dredge disposal in the marine park whether past present or future.
Coming into Government, we inherited five major proposals from Labor to dispose of dredge spoil in the Marine Park. We have reduced this to zero and are now putting a ban in law.
This significant step forward is just one element of a much wider suite of measures we’re putting in place to give greater legal protection to the Reef than any government before us.
Improving the Great Barrier Reef’s health and resilience requires governments and the community to work together to ensure the Reef remains one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth.
We know that the reef still retains the outstanding values for which it was listed as a World Heritage Property in 1981.
That is why we are already investing heavily in improving water quality in the Marine Park, and this measure to ban capital dredge material disposal will further strengthen those efforts.
Along with the Queensland Government, we’re investing more than $2 billion on the reef over the next decade.
Australians are rightfully proud of the Reef and recognise its immense biological, economic and cultural value. We’re committed to protecting it for future generations.
Information about the proposed change to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations will be out for comment for two weeks until 27 March.
Details on the proposal and how to make a submission can be found on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority website at www.gbrmpa.gov.au.