Jul 26, 2021


Jul 26, 2021

Radical environmentalists and the ideological diatribe they pedal are the greatest threat to the future of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and the many industries it supports, Katter’s Australian Party Leader Robbie Katter has said.

Mr Katter, commenting after last Friday’s UNESCO World Heritage Committee vote on whether to classify the GBR as “in danger”, said it was about time Australians of all political persuasions woke up to the games being played by the international community with the prized natural wonder.

The 21-member UNESCO committee, which includes countries like Brazil, Egypt and Thailand, voted against imposing the “in danger” rating but has instead demanded Australia send a report on the state of conservation of the Reef by February 2022.[1]

The Australian newspaper has today reported that when the votes were counted, it was European bureaucracy, international green groups and Norway that appeared to have led the charge to downgrade the Reef.

The newspaper has further reported that statements and documents revealed UNESCO had been trying to use the Reef to “push a bigger agenda for the world to adopt a more ambitious climate target than the formal Paris agreement”. [2]

At least $1.28 billion has been spent by the Federal and Queensland Governments on conserving the GBR in the last five years. Billions more in tax-payer dollars is also promised. [3]

Mr Katter said it was highly likely the increased, and unfounded, international scrutiny on the GBR would lead to further draconian regulations for those living near the Reef and the water catchment areas that feed into it, as well as more financial outlay despite the billions already promised.

He said it was a farce that the push to downgrade the status in the eyes of UNESCO had been perpetuated by international actors, former politicians and journalists, 13 of whom had signed and published a joint letter pushing the committee to “save the GBR” from climate change and “endorse UNESCO’s recommendation.”

“With all due respect I am not sure when the Australian people elected actor Jason Momoa and the Sovereign Prince of Monaco, who are both signatories to this letter, to direct public policy in our country,” the Traeger MP said.

“No one loves the GBR more than North Queenslanders, we live alongside it, love and we know it better than anyone.

“Though it’s been a relief that the ‘in danger’ downgrade was rejected, I fear this is just the beginning for a new wave of international scrutiny driven by radical environmentalists on the GBR.

“If climate change is the fundamental challenge facing the Reef, and indeed the world, maybe it’s time our international community asked some questions of China about the 38.4 GW of new coal plants it commissioned in 2020.”

Mr Katter said new research by the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) observing record high levels of coral painted a drastically different picture about the GBR’s health than pedalled by the international climate change brigade.

According to well-known GBR scientist Peter Ridd, the data further showed that coral growth rates had, if anything, increased over the past 100 years.

Further, he said measurements of farm pesticides reaching the Reef (which is a preoccupation of Government and the preface upon which industry-crippling farming regulations in Queensland are based) show levels so low that they cannot be detected with the most ultra-sensitive equipment.[4]

Mr Katter said State and Federal politicians, including the Premier and Prime Minister, had to show leadership on the GBR issue before the international community held the Australia in a complete stranglehold over its management.





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