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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    World Heritage Committee gives nod to Reef protection efforts

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Thursday, July 06, 2017

    World Heritage Committee gives nod to Reef protection efforts

    The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has welcomed the progress being made in Reef protection and affirming the Reef’s world heritage status at its meeting in Krakow, Poland overnight.

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk welcomed the news and said the Committee recognised the intensity of work being undertaken to protect the international icon.

    “This decision recognises our unprecedented level of effort and funding to protect the reef and the 64,000 jobs it supports.

    “As well as it’s incredible natural beauty, it’s the Reef’s World Heritage status that makes it a must see destination for tourists.

    “That’s why we’ve increased funding to protect it. This financial year alone the Palaszczuk Government will spend more than $63 million protecting the Reef,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    Environment Minister Steven Miles said the Queensland government was also acknowledged for its progress in enforcing the reef regulations and the successful implementation of the ports legislation.

    “We’ve banned the dumping of capital dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef and we’ve limited port expansions on the reef coastline to four major ports that have the best and deepest channels.

    “The decision really does acknowledge our efforts. It says, ‘there has undoubtedly been an unprecedented level of increased effort’ and that ‘this effort is a marked departure from past practices and deserves full recognition,” Mr Miles said.

    “Even the global community understands that what the Newman-Nicholls Government did by axing sensible tree clearing laws and refusing to enforce minimum standards for farm runoff was a close call for the Reef.”

    Mr Miles said that the Committee also expressed serious concern about coral bleaching due to climate change.

    “We are doing our bit to address this threat by working with communities, industries and businesses to transition to a low carbon future,” Mr Miles said.

    “We are also developing our own climate transition strategy to prepare Queensland for this future.

    An overall report on the state of conservation of the Great Barrier Reef will be submitted by 1 December 2019. That report will include an assessment of progress towards the targets and the effectiveness of the response to the bleaching events.

    The decision is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/soc/3658.

    Media contact:

    Kirby Anderson (Premier's office) 0417 263 791

    Katharine Wright (Minister Miles) 0422 580 342