: Barrier Reef remains under threat

Barrier Reef remains under threat

Kate Galloway
Queensland

In the face of urgent need to protect the Great Barrier Reef, the Queensland and Commonwealth governments jointly released ‘Reef 2050’. It purports to be a long-term plan for Reef sustainability, and its release satisfies one of UNESCO’s recommendations to avoid categorising the Reef as ‘in danger’. The Reef is presently listed as ‘at risk’ and UNESCO will consider the Reef’s listing further, in June 2015. Reef 2050 nominates climate change as one of the Reef’s principal risks. Despite this, government ‘wants to have coal mines operating in 60 years’ time’ which, according to reef scientist Terry Hughes, is incompatible with a healthy reef. Meanwhile the Commonwealth government has established an inquiry into the tax-deductible status of environmental groups, suggesting that the work of environmental charities is political, rather than frontline environmental protection. Yet changes to the tax status of these organisations may further erode public debate on environmental protection.

KATE GALLOWAY teaches law at James Cook University

(2015) 40(2) AltLJ 140
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