Great Barrier Reef: plan to improve water quality ignores scientific advice
Great Barrier Reef: plan to improve water quality ignores scientific advice.
Australia’s draft plan to improve water quality on the Great Barrier Reef has ignored official government scientific advice, which was published by the Queensland and federal governments alongside the new plan this week.
That is despite the plan itself acknowledging that “current initiatives will not meet water quality targets”, noting the “urgently needed” acceleration of efforts and explicitly stating that “a step change is needed”.
The plan repeatedly says it is “based on the best available independent scientific advice, as provided by scientific consensus statement 2017”.
The plan points to $2bn being spent over 10 years by the Queensland and federal governments to protect the reef.
That is about one-tenth of what a Queensland government taskforce concluded was needed, a figure they said would still not allow the targets to be met.
“The issue we have now is the coral is in terminal condition and the best we can hope for is to protect some parts of the coral on the Great Barrier Reef,” Brodie said.
“We’re still spending a lot of money but we’re not achieving enough to provide resilience to the whole Great Barrier Reef, perhaps we could better spend it on providing resilience for just some of the coral.” The world heritage committee flagged its concern over reef water quality at its annual meeting in July, saying “the plan will need to accelerate to ensure that the intermediate and long-term targets of 2050 LTSP are being met, in particular regarding water quality”.
“There is no meaningful detail on the actions and investment needed to deliver promised cuts to reef pollution,” he said.
“This new plan has an expanded scope and addresses all land-based sources of water pollution including run-off from urban, industrial and public lands, as well as from agricultural activities.” The Queensland minister for the environment, Steven Miles, said the plan recognised the importance of people in creating change and included social, cultural and economic values for the first time.