Premier ignores reef concerns

Posted: 06/07/2012 in all marine news

Stephanie Peatling, Rachel Browne –

The Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman, will not stop development in and around the Great Barrier Reef, despite a United Nations report warning the reef’s survival is under threat.

The UN’s environment organisation, UNESCO, released a report yesterday that said further development of the reef could threaten its World Heritage status.

The program director for Greenpeace, Ben Pearson, said there were 35 major development applications seeking approval within the next 18 months that would affect the reef.

He said the scale and pace of proposed development was out of control.

While he was concerned about the effect of development on the reef, Mr Newman said: ”We are not going to see the economic future of Queensland shut down.”

”We are in the coal business.

If you want decent hospitals, schools and police on the beat we all need to understand that,” he said.

”Very clearly there needs to be a proper strategy, orderly progression of these developments.

We shouldn’t be building a multitude of new ports and we won’t be.”

Much of the UNESCO’s concern centres on the coal boom in the Galilee basin in central Queensland.

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