Law Reform · Nature & the Reef

EDO Qld contributes to WWF & AMCS Report to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee

30 January, 2014

The Report to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee was released today. The 72 page report includes an accompanying scorecard which lists the government failures.

Following recommendations from UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee to the Australian Government on the improvement of the management of the Great Barrier Reef, WWF-Australia (WWF) and the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) undertook a detailed assessment of the performance of both the Australian and Queensland governments in addressing these recommendations.

EDO Qld provided a major contribution to this report. To support the assessment, EDO Qld provided legal advice on the failures of the current regulatory framework in protecting the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the Reef. 

EDO Qld's advice (at Appendix 5) includes the effect of recent and proposed changes to policy and law by the current Queensland and Australian Governments.

In summary, 

"the Queensland legislation outlined throughout the Draft Program Report does not ensure Great Barrier Reef (GBR) protection and many recent changes actively impede GBR protection. The proposed delegation of approval powers are of great concern for GBR protection. The Commonwealth Government plans to devolve “the broadest range” of decision-making approval powers to Queensland by September 2014, which is likely to allow Queensland to approve actions that may have significant impacts on the GBR."                                                                                                

For more information, visit the WWF website here.