Law Reform · Nature & the Reef

Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report

14 August, 2014

EDO Qld has clearly set out how Queensland’s current legislative framework is seriously flawed and requires significant reform to provide adequate protection and management of the Reef.

Every five years the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) publish the Reef Outlook Report. The 2014 report has just been released, and maps out achievements since 2009.

The report focuses on the health, pressures and future of the reef. This year's report concluded that run-off, climate change and development still pose the greatest risks to the reef ecosystem and heritage values.

While nutrient, sediment and pesticide runoff has decreased over the past five years, it appears not to be enough. The status of the reef was shown to have worsened since the last report in 2009.

Looking to the likely future health of the reef the report notes that 'the overall outlook for the Great Barrier Reef is poor...and is expected to further deteriorate in the future'. The report clearly illustrates the ineffectiveness of the current approach to managing the reef that the government has taken.

The Outlook Report comes at a time when Australia is under criticism from UNESCO's World Heritage Committee regarding its management of the Great Barrier Reef, leading to a joint strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and adjacent coastal zone.

The Commonwealth Environment Minister has also formally endorsed the final strategic assessments. Earlier this year, EDO Qld undertook an analysis of the draft strategic assessments available here

For more information, see the Reef Outlook Report here.

Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO Qld) gives a strong legal voice to the environment when needed most.

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