The Reef 2050 Partnership Group has met at the World Parks Congress in Sydney as part of the Government’s ongoing commitment to work with industry, community and conservation groups on protecting the iconic Great Barrier Reef
I was pleased to chair this latest meeting with Queensland Environment Minister Andrew Powell and to extend a special invitation to the Director General of the IUCN, Julia Marton-Lefèvre and IUCN delegates.
The Federal and Queensland Governments established Reef 2050 Partnership Group to bring together a wide range of stakeholders who understand the issues and challenges facing the Great Barrier Reef, and to ensure their involvement in the development of the Long Term Sustainability Plan.
The Partnership draws on the best expertise, science, policy and planning to ensure the long-term protection of the iconic reef – a key topic at the World Parks Congress in Sydney.
High on the meeting’s agenda was the announcement I made last week at the opening of the Congress to legislate our commitment to putting an end to the disposal of capital dredge material.
Last year we flagged an end to Labor’s practice of disposing of capital dredge material in the Marine Park – and now we’re backing this up with the force of the law.
We inherited five major proposals from Labor to dispose of dredge spoil in the Marine Park. We’ve now reduced this to zero.
The Partnership members are finalising the Plan which will ensure the protection of the Reef with clear targets and actions.
It was important to provide the opportunity at the World Parks Congress to hear their views, particularly in response to the public submissions and engage with the IUCN who will be reporting to the World Heritage Committee on the status of the Reef.
The World Heritage Committee will determine in June next year whether the Reef should be listed ‘in danger’. The Government is doing all it can to respond to the challenges to ensure the Reef is not listed and remains a natural wonder for future generations.
Over the next decade will be investing around $2 billion in projects to protect the Reef, including the establishment of a special Reef Trust.
The Government is committed to the long-term protection of the Great Barrier Reef as one of Australia’s greatest natural icons – and a vital asset for tourism and jobs in Queensland and Australia.