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Ten Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) Welcome back, you are watching

Breakfast, there's a lot of concern

over the Great Barrier Reef, and

whether it's being used as a dumping ground. Larissa Waters met

with UNESCO last night amid the

concerns. The idea is UNESCO might

snap it with a World Heritage band

to make it endangered or take it

off. Which is worse. They are both

bad. The Great Barrier Reef is not

just iconic environmentally, but

brings in a lot of money for us,

about $6 billion in tourism. If we

have an international spotlight on

how poorly it's managed and if the

body says it's World Heritage in

danger or badly managed it

shouldn't be World Heritage, it

would devastate the tourism income.

Why is UNESCO looking at this.

There's a lot of coal expansion and

shipping routes through the area,

why is it in the spotlight for them.

Originally a massive dregeing

program in Gladstone harbour and

Queensland, part of the World

Heritage area. The Government

forgot to tell UNESCO about the

dredging program. How could it

happen. It's big, it's into the

like you could miss it, we've seen

dead turtles, dugons, diseased fish.

The Government thought they needn't

tell UNESCO about that. UNESCO came

to investigate. They've realised

it's not just Gladstone, there's

plans for coal and coal seam gas

ports up and down the coast. They

are concerned that we are turning

our reef into a marine dumping

ground and into a coal and gas

highway. You met with them last

night. Which way is it going, will

it be good or bad? I was encouraged.

The two representatives were

concerned at the pace of

development and the impact on the

reef, and worried that the Government's response has been

tricky. They said that they are not

going to include any of the current

proposals in the so-called

comprehensive assessment of what is

going on in the reef, which is

convenient. You can't claim

something is comprehensive and not

look at the main threat. That's the

direction they are heading in.

They'll recommend that all the

ports proposed should, in fact, be

considered as part of that overall

look at what is going on. Is there

an assumption that it is poorly

managed. Do we know it's poorly

managed? We made improvements in

water quality, we have seen in the

last couple, 2-3 years, a boom in

fossil fuel exports. We have three

existing ports, but there's plans

for six more. We don't necessarily

know just because there's plans for

six more, that the area can't

sustain that. We don't know that

water quality won't improve. We

don't know. That's why we should do

an assessment of what the reef can

handle before approving the ports.

Thank you Larissa Waters, great to

have you on again. We'll keep an

eye on it. People will keep an eye

it. People will be outrage. People

are easily outraged. Dumping silt

and sand on the Great Barrier Reef.

You and I dive there... If people

use it - putting silt in an area...

It's a conflict of interest. The

putting of silt, the Government

gets money from that. Exactly, $15