Great Barrier Reef decision no cause for celebration


The Greens warn that despite the Great Barrier Reef’s one year reprieve from being declared “in danger”, the iconic marine ecosystem remains under serious threat - including from the Albanese Government and its reckless approval of new fossil fuel projects.

Quotes attributable to Greens spokesperson for healthy oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson: 

“This Unesco decision isn’t kidding anybody who has had their eyes wide open to the unprecedented and troubling changes we are witnessing in global marine environments, especially from new marine heatwaves. 

“The world will still be watching the Great Barrier Reef moving forward. As a custodian of this great natural wonder the Albanese Government should remember this decision is no cause for celebration, but a clear warning: if we get another El Nino event this summer the Great Barrier Reef may still be listed in danger come February. 

“The burning of fossil fuels is literally cooking our oceans and degrading marine ecosystems across the globe, and nowhere else has this been more politicised than on the Great Barrier Reef. 

“The high-profile Great Barrier Reef is a barometer for the declining health of marine ecosystems everywhere, and the Albanese Government must show leadership on mitigating the root cause of the decline in these fragile ecosystems by not expanding or approving new fossil fuel projects.” 

Quotes attributable to Greens senator for Queensland, Larissa Waters:

“The World Heritage Committee has kept the Great Barrier Reef on the “In Danger” watchlist for another year, so the pressure is now on for the Albanese Government to stop approving new coal and gas. 

“Labor continues to approve new fossil fuel projects putting at even further risk the Great Barrier Reef, which supports countless miraculous species of creatures, corals and plants, and provides a livelihood for 60,000 tourism workers.

“Recurrent bleaching as a result of the climate crisis has already changed the Great Barrier Reef forever. More than half the coral cover of the Reef has been permanently lost in successive mass coral bleachings of the Reef since 2015. 

“Climate change is the biggest threat to the Reef yet the Albanese Government has approved 3 coal mines in less than 2 months. How many more times do global scientists have to say no new coal and gas?”