1 August 2023

The Coalition notes UNESCO’s draft decision overnight regarding the Great Barrier Reef.

it is absurd that Anthony Albanese and Tanya Plibersek are using the report to launch political attacks on the Coalition Government’s record on policies and funding in relation to the Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef was actually first foreshadowed for an “In-Danger” listing under Labor in 2012 when hard coral cover was at its lowest.

Through careful management, the Coalition delivered record funding for conservation, protection and restoration, achieving unprecedented environmental outcomes across the Reef. This resulted in UNESCO’s previous version of this report (released in November 2022) acknowledging that our years in government were marked by “unparalleled science and management” at the Reef.

In 2022, the Australian Institute of Marine Science also found that, during the Coalition Government’s period in office, the amount of hard coral cover across the Reef had reached its highest level in the entire 36-year history of its studies of the Reef’s condition. It should also be noted that, over our time in government, UNESCO never labelled the Reef as “In-Danger”.

Therefore, it is laughable that the Albanese Government are laying claim to saving the Reef when it is the Coalition’s hard work that has played such a key role in UNESCO’s decision overnight to keep the Reef off the “In-Danger” list.