All parties must step up to save the Reef: WWF

Posted on 03 February 2012  | 
Coral Reef scene, various corals, Great Barrier Reef & Coral Sea, Australia.
Coral Reef scene, various corals, Great Barrier Reef & Coral Sea, Australia.
© Jürgen Freund / WWF-Canon Enlarge
Queenslanders must treat the next election as a referendum on the future health of the Great Barrier Reef, WWF says.

The group says major parties must commit to tougher policies on pollution and damaging fishing practices or risk the continuing demise of the World Heritage asset.

WWF-Australia has today written to the leaders of Queensland’s major parties seeking firm commitments to safeguard the Reef for future generations.

“There are over 700 reefs on the Great Barrier Reef that are at risk from land-based pollution, such as mud and pesticides from coastal farms,” said WWF’s Great Barrier Reef National Manager Nick Heath.

“More than a thousand turtles have washed up along the coast over the past year after their food sources were smothered by sediment, and we continue to see dolphins, turtles and dugongs getting entangled and drowning in fishing nets used near the shore.”

“WWF-Australia’s number one priority for the forthcoming Queensland election is to secure policy and funding commitments that improve the health and resilience of Reef and its wildlife.”

Along with maintaining existing protections and agency budgets, WWF has asked the parties to:
  • Cut Reef pollution through greater investment in farm innovation
  • Protect fish stocks, turtles and dugongs by taking fishing nets out of sensitive habitats
  • Save turtles and dugongs from illegal poaching with more Indigenous rangers
  • Establish a new ‘Reef Bank’ to invest money from the mining boom into Reef resilience programs.

“Queensland’s tourism industry and regional communities need a healthy Reef, and our world class marine environment deserves the best level of protection we can provide. WWF wants to work with the next Queensland Government to achieve these outcomes,” Mr Heath said.

WWF is a science-based conservation organisation and is politically non-partisan.

WWF encourages the adoption of policies that will deliver enduring outcomes for the environment.

* Press release and appendix with the full list of WWF's policies for the 2012 Queensland Election are available above to download.

WWF-Australia contacts:
Daniel Rockett, Media Officer, WWF-Australia, 0432 206 592
Coral Reef scene, various corals, Great Barrier Reef & Coral Sea, Australia.
Coral Reef scene, various corals, Great Barrier Reef & Coral Sea, Australia.
© Jürgen Freund / WWF-Canon Enlarge

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