The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland is the only living organic mass visible from space. It’s the world’s largest coral ecosystem, spanning more than 300,000 kilometres. In 1981 it was declared a World Heritage site, and in 2007 it was added to the National Heritage List. A report from Deloitte says it contributes between $5 and $6 billion to the Australian economy each year.
It is also dying.
Now it at risk of being stripped of its World Heritage status.
The Premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk, needs to act and act fast. Elected last year, the Labor member for Inala, needs to know the whole world is watching.
March this year saw largest amount coral die on the Great Barrier Reef in recorded history. This event was caused by a distinct rise in water temperatures, which lead to coral bleaching. Scientists observed up to 50 per cent mortality in the northern-most third of the reef.
In October, more death was discovered and researchers said “many more [corals] have died more slowly” since the March survey. The bleaching itself doesn’t lead to coral death. It does however, put the reef under extreme amounts of stress.
This month, there’s been more bad news after the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) – also known as the world’s heritage body – has threatened to put the Great Barrier Reef on its “in danger” list.
Why? Because the Queensland and Federal Governments have failed to deliver on key sustainability measures.