Australian news, and some related international items

Parliament passes Bill accusing government of failing to protect Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef

Australian government can’t be trusted with Great Barrier Reef, says parliament
Climate Home, 15/08/2017,  Government loses vote on bill noting the government’s ‘failure to protect’ reef on day of chaos in Canberra, By Karl Mathiesen

Australia’s parliament has passed a bill admonishing the government for failing to protect the Great Barrier Reef from climate change.

In a rare event in Australia’s ultra-partisan parliament, the government failed to vote down its own bill on Tuesday evening, after the opposition Labor party attached the amendment.

Labor’s amendment read:

“…the House notes that:

(1) the Government is failing to protect Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef by:

(a) failing to act on climate change;

(b) supporting the Liberal National Party in Queensland in blocking reef protections aimed at halting the broad scale clearing of trees and remnant vegetation; and

(c) winding back ocean protection, put in place by Labor, around Australia and specifically in the Coral Sea; and

(2) this Government cannot be trusted to protect the Great Barrier Reef and fight for Australia’s unique environment.”

The original bill, to which Labor attached the highly-politicised language, was a technical amendment to the act that established the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

The reef, which stretches 2,300km down the northeastern coastline of the continent, has been severely damaged by consecutive bleaching events in the past two years. The death of 22% of corals in 2016 was followed this year by a second bleach, leaving scientists questioning the survival of the wonder.

Coral bleaching is caused by elevated water temperatures, which is why climate change is seen as an existential threat to coral reef systems around the world. But the recovery of bleached reefs can be assisted by management of other pressures, including overfishing and pollution.

The Australian and Queensland governments have been criticised by Unesco, the UN body that oversees the World Heritage site, for failing to stop agricultural runoff from impacting the ecosystem. A draft report released in June noted with “serious concern” that “progress toward achieving water quality targets has been slow”.

The Department of Environment and Energy press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Labor amendment…….


August 16, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: