UNESCO leaves reef off ‘in danger’ list

THE Great Barrier Reef is officially not in danger after the UNESCO World Heritage Committee unanimously rejected the 'in danger' listing on Wednesday night.

The decision was made by the 21 member-country committee in Bonn, Germany and was in line with the earlier draft decision.

The federal and state governments welcomed the decision, claiming it as a victory for their Reef 2050 plan.

The plan bans all capital dredging disposal in the World Heritage Area, restricting port development and improving the quality of water entering the reef.

To celebrate the decision, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk launched a new social media tourism campaign to lure tourists to the "greatest reef on earth".

"The Great Barrier Reef is ours to protect and share," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"My government has shown how seriously we take this responsibility by establishing the first ever Officer of the Great Barrier Reef, and committing an extra $100 million to improve water quality.

"Now we want to spread the word across the globe: the reef is a living treasure which is safe in our hands, and which international visitors should experience first-hand."

 

Does UNESCO's decision regarding the status of the GBR concern you?

This poll ended on 08 July 2015.

Current Results

Yes, it's a big part of tourism and environment in Gladstone.

27%

No, it doesn't bother me.

18%

It should be on the list, Gladstone's industry is destroying the reef.

18%

I think its being looked after well.

36%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Gladstone Conservation Council president Jan Arens agreed visitors should enjoy the reef now.

"The decision was made because there was enough noise in the proposal to UNESCO that something would be done to help the reef.

"Whether that translates into action you don't know, but I won't be holding my breath," he said. "I tell my kids to go and see the reef because in 25-30 years another half of it will be gone, and the privilege I feel when I see it won't be there for my kids."

Mr Arens said when Australia signed up for the reef to be heritage listed it was promised we would look after the reef for eternity.

"It's our nation's dignity on the line to protect the reef," he said.