Reef ‘not in danger’ listing an attack on Australian sovereignty and industry: KAP

Aug 2, 2023

KATTER’S Australian Party has furiously called out UNESCO’s latest Great Barrier Reef recommendation as an attack on the nation’s sovereignty and industries.

It is understood the reef achieved a “not in danger” recommendation from the France-based organisation on the premise of the Australian Government scrapping dams including Hells Gates and banning gillnet fishing along Queensland’s east coast.

KAP MP for Kennedy Bob Katter said Australia was a sovereign nation and “we will decide how to use our water.”

“Basically, a bunch of Paris bureaucrats are dictating Australian Government policies and intruding on our sovereign right to provide for future growth and prosperity,” Mr Katter said.

“They are flagrantly breaching the sovereignty of this nation, if someone dares to take any land rights or sea rights off my country, then I’ll start reaching for my rifle, they are not going to invade my country.

“Imagine the outrage if we told Paris to ban visitor to the Lourve or stop cars driving around the Arc de Triomphe.”

Mr Katter, a long-term advocate for Hells Gates Dam said if the decision makers actually knew anything about the reef, they would understand that feral pigs caused greater water turbidity issues, which dams could inevitably help alleviate.

“A dam will better enable us to better control the turbidity. And the greenies, have not done one single thing about the real problem – the pigs.

“There will be no cassowaries, no turtles (occupiers of the reef), because the pigs take the eggs and there about 2 million wild pigs in North Queensland, most of them concentrated along the head waters that run on to the barrier reef.

“So, if you knew what you were talking about, you would be criticising Australia for not doing anything about the pig problem.

“But if we choose to build a dam here in Australia, you have absolutely no right to interfere whatsoever. And I don’t care whether you register the Barrier Reef (as endangered) or you don’t, we are going to look after it, and we are going to fight for it.”

KAP Deputy Leader and Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto questioned why the Australian Government was being led around the bull ring by UNESCO regarding the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

“I couldn’t give a flying duck how UNESCO or the rest of the world views our Great Barrier Reef, call it endangered for all I care, call it purple, it wouldn’t make any difference to the reality,” Mr Dametto said.

“The Australian Institute of Marine Science states the Great Barrier Reef has record coral cover, and you can see it with your own eyes, the reef is alive and well. The Great Barrier Reef is in Australian waters and as far as I know, there are very well equipped and educated scientists working daily to make sure the reef remains healthy.

“UNESCO’s interim report said Australia had made “significant progress” but they made no secret that they will be targeting tree clearing activity next. Queensland’s wild caught seafood industry already wore the brunt of the decision to ban gill net fishing along the East Coast and it’s almost certain that farmers and graziers will be next on the hit list.

“UNESCO seems to constantly have our nation’s leaders over a barrel. Although sometimes I do wonder if it isn’t our nation’s leaders simply using UNESCO as an excuse to keep pushing their own personal environmental agenda.”