Topics: Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef has avoided being placed on the World Heritage in danger list but will be closely monitored because of major threats to its health. To discuss this now, I'm joined by Environment Minister Greg Hunt. Good morning to you Minister and thank you for your time.
Good morning, it's a pleasure.
Obviously it's good news that the reef hasn't been placed on that list, but it certainly isn't in the clear yet with the overall outlook still considered poor.
The decision of the World Heritage Committee is an outstanding decision for Australia. They have removed all reference to ‘in danger’, they have recommended against an ‘in danger’ listing and they've praised the work that Australia has done to protect and to improve the reef. So this is a tremendous result. It's our task now over the next three decades to make sure the reef is healthier than it has ever been, and I am very confident that we can do this.
Now you're still saying that the reef outlook is poor. How are you going to fix that?
So we are investing a quarter of a billion dollars on top of two billion dollars that was already there to improve water quality, to eradicate the crown of thorns and most significantly, we have ended a century's practice of disposing of dredge material in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park area, an area the size of Italy.
That practice which we inherited is gone forever, has been put into law and that's a once in a century decision for the reef and for Australia.
Okay, thank you Minister, thank you for your time this morning.