Great Barrier Reef plan released


The State Government today released its blueprint to keep The Great Barrier Reef alive and healthy for future generations.

It coincides with a CSIRO report which found that Australia’s coastlines are suffocating under the weight of human pollution.

Damian Staveley reports.

TRANSCRIPT

The State and Federal governments are joining forces to make sure the reef’s sustainability satisfies the world heritage body UNESCO.

The plan sets out a range of actions to protect the reef against threats like climate change, land-based run off, coastal developments and fishing.

Andrew Powell, Qld Environment Minister: “It’s very important that, as a government alongside our federal colleagues, indeed with industry and the community, we have a long term road map for how we’re going to manage and protect the Great Barrier Reef and that’s what this long term sustainability plan Reef 2050 is all about.”

But Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt endorses working with his state counterparts to safeguard the fragile marine environment.

At the same time, the CSIRO is hoping its report into marine pollution will influence policy makers about the impacts of marine debris.

And Queensland’s coastline is one of the worst.

The findings, the result of a three-year project, with about three-quarters of the rubbish found being plastic and most of it originating in Australia.

Queensland’s natural disasters caused a spike in pollution levels.

Denise Hardesty, Senior CSIRO Research Scientist: “We actually found concentrations off the Queensland coast of between 40 and 80,000 pieces of plastic per square kilometre.”

Items found included things like bottles, cans, bags and cigarettes-even micro-plastics from toothpastes and face scrubs pose a threat to wildlife.

It’s hoped the information will help influence policy makers and turn the tide on marine pollution.

Damian Staveley, QUT News.