Queensland Premier Campbell Newman says he will protect the environment but not at the expense of the state’s economic future.
His comments follow a UNESCO report, released today, which warned the reef could be listed as a World Heritage site in danger unless Australia makes substantial changes to its supervision of the area.
It says the adverse listing could go ahead if the federal Government does not convince the international body it has improved its performance before February next year.
The report urges Australia not to permit the creation of ports separate to those which already exist near the reef and asks for a strategic assessment of the entire area, implying that new developments should be held up until that report is complete.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said his Government was aware of the issues raised in the report but could not accommodate some of its chief recommendations.
“We will protect the environment but we are not going to see the economic future of Queensland shut down,” Mr Newman said.
” … We are in the coal business. If you want decent hospitals, schools and police on the beat we all need to understand that.”