Gladstone Harbour is at the centre of attention after a UNESCO report released on Saturday and (inset) Greens Senator Larissa Waters said UNESCO’s report was a ‘slap in the face’ for the government.
Gladstone Harbour is at the centre of attention after a UNESCO report released on Saturday and (inset) Greens Senator Larissa Waters said UNESCO’s report was a ‘slap in the face’ for the government. David Sparkes

All eyes on Gladstone Harbour

GLADSTONE Harbour has been placed under an international microscope by a UNESCO report released Saturday morning.

The report delivered a brutal assessment of industrial development around the Great Barrier Reef.

Reaction poured in at the weekend.

Greens Senator Larissa Waters said the report was a "slap in the face" for the government.

"This is the strongest possible report from the international World Heritage experts, and it backs what the Greens and the community have been consistently calling for, that our reef should not be treated like a coal and gas highway, have its guts ripped out by mass dredging, and be used as a rubbish tip for offshore dumping," she said.

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman dismissed the report's criticisms.

He said the government was committed to protecting the reef, but they "are not going to see the economic future of Queensland shut down" because of the report.

"We are in the coal business. If you want decent hospitals, schools and police on the beat we all need to understand that," he said.

In the report

UNESCO's State of Conservation Report called on the Queensland Government to not permit any new port development outside the "existing and long-established major port areas".

It wants the government to complete the strategic assessment and long-term plan for the sustainable development of the Great Barrier Reef by February next year.



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