Queensland Conservation (QCC) has welcomed the recommendations of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, handed down in St Petersburg overnight.
‘UNESCO has given the Australian Government a clear warning about its concerns for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.’ said Queensland Conservation Executive Director, Toby Hutcheon.
‘Failure to do so could lead to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage estate being put on the World Heritage ‘in danger’ list, with significant implications for our international reputation and Queensland’s tourism industry,’ continued Hutcheon. In a series of wide-ranging recommendations the World Heritage body has called for:
• An updated report on the conservation status of the Reef by February next year, detailing the implementation of the Committee’s recommendations. Failure to make ‘substantial progress’ will lead to the Reef being considered for the World Heritage ’in danger’ list.
• An immediate halt to ‘any new port development or associated infrastructure outside of the existing and long-established major port areas
• An independent review of current development in Gladstone Harbour and Curtis Island to establish their compliance with World heritage values, with ‘concrete action’ as soon as possible and ‘before any other major port development is commenced’.
• Prevent approval of any major projects that may adversely impact the Reef until a Strategic Assessment is complete and the resulting long term plan for the Reef has been assessed by the World Heritage Committee.
For More Information: Toby Hutcheon 3221 0188/0419 664 503