I welcome the release of the Dredge Synthesis Report today by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), and I thank the scientists involved for their work.
The Report was compiled by an independent panel of 19 experts with a range of relevant skills, experience and perspectives, in conjunction with the GBRMPA and the AIMS.
The Report brings together scientific knowledge on how dredging activities affect the environment and biodiversity of the Great Barrier Reef, and will assist in the ongoing development of policies and best practice guidelines.
Since the Report was compiled the Federal Government has taken a number of significant steps to address issues relating to dredging and dredge disposal, to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
We inherited five major proposals from Labor to dispose of dredge spoil in the Marine Park. We have reduced this to zero.
And importantly, we are banning the disposal of capital dredge material in the Marine Park. We are putting an end to this century-old practice.
Together with the Queensland Government, we are putting an end to capital dredge disposal in the entire Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area once and for all.
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.
We are united in our commitment to protect the Great Barrier Reef for future generations.
Over the weekend we released the Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan – the most comprehensive plan ever developed to secure the health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef for generations to come.
Commonwealth and Queensland government investment in reef management and protection is projected to be more than $2 billion dollars over the next decade – bolstered by the additional $100 million the Australian Government recently announced for the Reef Trust.
We’re making significant investments in the Great Barrier Reef and this is a testament of our strong commitment to protect our amazing natural icon.