the reef in more danger...
The world heritage organisation Unesco has heavily criticised the federal government’s decision to allow dredging of the Great Barrier Reef and recommended that it should be placed on its “in danger” list in 2015 unless the reef is protected.
In its first criticism of the federal government decision to allow dredging of the reef, Unesco said the decision was “noted with concern”, and that it was made “despite an indication that less impacting disposal alternatives may exist”.
The report raised a number of issues regarding the decision to dredge the reef, including the unknown impact of dredge plumes, and the transfer of decision-making powers from the federal government to the Queensland government.
“Given the range of significant threats affecting the property and the conflicting information about the effectiveness of recent decisions and draft policies, significant concern remains regarding the long-term deterioration of key aspects,” the report said.
The earlier assertion by the federal environment minister, Greg Hunt, that the dredging proposals met a tough 150% net benefit requirementfor water quality was also called into doubt. The report added the requirement “appears inappropriate without a specific timescale for its rapid and guaranteed achievement prior to development proceeding, and a clear indication of the implications for progress on water quality against the reef plan targets”.