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Vanishing Great Barrier Reef needs action now

Christine Milne 2 Oct 2012

The Australian Government should reduce coal exports and take urgent action on the Great Barrier Reef if we are to save it for future generations, the Australian Greens said today.

A shocking new report released by the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences shows the Great Barrier Reef has lost half of its coral cover since the 1980s, and could lose half again in only ten years if it's business as usual.

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Gladstone harbour crisis set to worsen with more dredging

Larissa Waters 26 Sep 2012

The controversial mass dredging operations, that independent scientists believe are likely responsible for creating a marine contamination crisis in Gladstone harbour, are now planned to increase with the addition of a new shipping passage in the harbour.

“This is some of the worst possible news for local Gladstone fishing communities, who have lost their harbour, their livelihoods and been denied compensation from the Gladstone Ports Corporation,” Australian Greens environment spokesperson, Senator Larissa Waters, said.

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Ten years and counting: still no toxic relief for the Reef

Larissa Waters 21 Sep 2012

Once again the national pesticides regulator has failed to ban the most toxic herbicide that runs off into the Great Barrier Reef, despite reviewing the product and its harmful impacts for more than a decade.

“With the removal of just one herbicide, Diuron, we could have eliminated the most harmful and toxic chemical that is damaging the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef,” Australian Greens environment spokesperson, Senator Larissa Waters, said.

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Government to wash their hands of Great Barrier Reef

The same day that the federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, acted to boost environment laws to give himself the power to stop the supertrawler, the ALP Government and the Coalition also voted to continue their plan to give away responsibility to protect Australian icons like the Great Barrier Reef.

Under planned reforms to the national environment laws, most of the federal Environment Minister’s powers to protect the environment will be given to the states, many of which have a track record of environmental devastation.

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International community wants moratorium on Reef developments

Larissa Waters 29 Jun 2012

The World Heritage Committee has upheld their draft decision handed down in earlier this month on the Great Barrier Reef, which calls upon the Government to stop developments that may affect the Reef until a comprehensive strategic assessment can be completed.

UNESCO sent a monitoring mission to Australia to investigate the impact of development on the Reef, as the Australian Government’s of major CSG port developments within the World Heritage Area and the proposal for six more coal ports sparked an outpouring of concern from the Australian community.

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Palmer’s toxic waste plan for the Great Barrier Reef

Larissa Waters 25 Jun 2012

The Greens are calling on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to stand firm against the demands from the LNP’s largest donor, Clive Palmer, to dump polluted water from his nickel refinery into the Great Barrier Reef.

“The Great Barrier Reef is – so far – still a World Heritage icon that is a unique and precious place to all Australians,” Australian Greens environment spokesperson, Senator Larissa Waters, said.

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Marine Sanctuaries Speech

Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (16:00): I rise to make a contribution to this debate because I cannot stay silent in the face of the scaremongering and hysteria being peddled by some unscrupulous elements of the fishing sector, fanned by equally unscrupulous and opportunistic claims from some members of the coalition of the Liberal and National parties. The recent announcement by the environment minister of a national network of marine reserves is certainly a substantial and major step forward for marine conservation in Australia and globally.

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Exclusion of reefs missed opportunity in Coral Sea

Larissa Waters 14 Jun 2012

Today’s marine parks announcement has excluded most of the reefs in the Coral Sea from adequate protection, missing an opportunity to create the world’s largest marine national park in this area of unique natural beauty and outstanding conservation value.


“Minister Burke recognised the unique value of the Coral Sea today – describing it as the jewel in the crown – but too few of the jewels in this crown are fully protected,” said Australian Greens spokesperson for the Coral Sea, Senator Larissa Waters.

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