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Monday, 23 February 1987
Page: 448

Senator VIGOR(5.38) —I move:

That the Senate take note of the paper.

In the very short time that I have available I would like to commend the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for its 1985-86 annual report. A set of very informative pie diagrams in the report show the activities of the Authority. In 1985-86 it carried out operations in managing this magnificent resource of Australia, in planning and developing the area, in providing educational information and material on the activities that go on inside the park, in carrying on research in various areas in the park as well as supporting the development of tourism in the area. I note with great interest that, in the distribution of funds for research programs, 62 per cent of those programs were carried out in the area of marine biology. We are learning an enormous amount about the genetic material which exists in the area and the exciting species which populate the Barrier Reef. Only 4 per cent of funds were spent on research into oceanography. Research into that area needs to have considerably more spent on it, particularly remote sensing and the effects of weather patterns on the ocean around the Barrier Reef.

The crown of thorns starfish comes in for a considerable amount of comment. It is quite obvious that the starfish will be a continuing scourge in the area. Initial analysis apparently shows that not all reefs are similarly hit and that it may be just a continuing problem on the Reef. I commend the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority--

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Order! The time for consideration of government papers has expired.