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A new UN report that expresses ‘extreme concern’ about the pressure on the Great Barrier Reef from coastal development and increased shipping shows how important it is not to weaken our national environmental laws, the Australian Conservation Foundation said today.
The UNESCO report says developments with the potential to affect the reef should not be approved until a strategic assessment of the area is complete.
"This report should be a wake up call for the federal government," said the Australian Conservation Foundation’s CEO Don Henry.
"To have a potential ‘in danger’ listing hanging over the reef is a national disgrace.
The federal government should place an immediate moratorium on any new projects until it has completed a full strategic assessment on the impact the mining boom and coastal developments are having on the reef
"Big mining proposals are putting pressure on the Great Barrier Reef and the adjoining Coral Sea.
"At the same time the mining industry is trying to weaken our existing environmental laws.
"Just in the last fortnight the ecologically-diverse Shark Reef in the Coral Sea had a close shave when a bulk carrier broke down and was only metres away from crashing into the reef.
"We have to make sure our national environmental laws are properly protecting this unique ecological jewel so ad hoc decision-making in Queensland does not damage the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea for the future."