Govt urged to rethink cuts to reef program
A body which produces an annual report card on the Great Barrier Reef has had its funding cut as part of the Queensland government’s savings drive, the opposition claims.
The Newman government last week outlined $186.5 million in spending cuts since its election in March.
Among them was an item from within the Department of Premier and Cabinet listed as “Reef Water Quality”.
Opposition environment spokeswoman Jackie Trad says the $503,000 cut was made to the Reef Water Quality protection plan secretariat, which produces an annual report card on the reef’s health.
It also provides the co-ordination and leadership needed to protect its World Heritage status.
UNESCO is considering listing the reef as a World Heritage site in danger, and Ms Trad says it’s not the time to cut back such schemes.
“With UNESCO poised to meet in less than 10 days to consider in full the UNESCO monitoring report, this decision will be met with disbelief,” she said.
“With all the economic development happening in far north Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef needs more resources and protection, not less. “
The opposition has called on the premier to rethink the decision.