When Steven Miles was sworn in today he became the first Queensland Minister to have the Great Barrier Reef in his job title.
“We congratulate Minister Miles on being chosen for this crucial portfolio,” said WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman.
“Having a Minister for the Reef is an important signal that saving our national icon is a priority for this new administration,” he said.
Minister Miles is responsible for delivering a strong set of commitments made by the ALP, including:
- A ban on sea-based disposal of dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area;
- A commitment to achieve an 80% reduction in pollution run-off into the Great Barrier Reef by 2025;
- Reinstating key legal safeguards for the Reef – including protection of bushland, coastal protections and water reform;
- Providing an additional $100 million over five years towards water quality initiatives, scientific research and better environmental practices in the primary production and fishing industries;
- No dumping of dredge spoil on the fragile Caley Valley wetlands at Abbot Point; and
- Protection of the Fitzroy Delta near Rockhampton
“It is a matter of urgency that these commitments are included in Reef 2050 – the long term plan to save the Reef that must be submitted to UNESCO in the next few weeks,” Mr O’Gorman said.
“WWF-Australia stands ready to work with Minister Miles and the new Queensland Government to turn around the decline of the Reef.”
At its annual meeting in June, the World Heritage Committee will consider whether to declare the Great Barrier Reef “World Heritage in danger”.
WWF-Australia Media Contact:
Mark Symons, Senior Media Officer, 0400 985 571