Conflict-of-interest questions will worry everyone who loves the reef.
In response to reports companies associated with a Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) board member financially benefited from publicly-funded reef resilience work, Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) Chief Executive Officer, Kelly O’Shanassy, said:
“The Australian Conservation Foundation is increasingly concerned about how the Great Barrier Reef is being managed.
“The conflict-of-interest questions around the allocation of taxpayer funds administered by GBRMPA will worry everyone who loves our reef.
“Australians should be able to be confident the Great Barrier Reef is being properly looked after and the Authority and other relevant bodies are making the best decisions for its future, not the narrow interests of some.
“These latest concerns follow the numerous issues that have been highlighted about the Federal Government’s $444 million grant to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
“And while most Australians understand climate change is the single greatest threat to our reef’s survival, we’ve seen the Morrison Government abandon all serious climate change policy.
“The future of the Great Barrier Reef is too important to be left to chance and poor judgment.
“As a first port of call we urge the Federal Environment Minister to press GBRMPA to accelerate the governance reform passed by the Federal Parliament in March to strengthen its otherwise good work to make our reef more resilient.
“And if we want future generations to be able to appreciate the reef we need to halt the climate pollution that is fuelling global warming and driving the mass coral bleaching that has plagued the reef.
“Australia must do its fair share in the global effort to tackle climate pollution. That means transitioning away from digging up and burning coal and embracing clean energy from the sun and the wind.”