Maintaining a healthy and resilient Great Barrier Reef
The Commonwealth and Queensland Governments Interim Response to the Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2009
The Commonwealth and Queensland governments are committed to ensuring the long term protection of the Great Barrier Reef (the Reef).
The Reef is undisputedly one of the worlds most important natural assets. It is the largest coral reef ecosystem in the world, home to thousands of species including 1,500 of the worlds marine fish species, over a third of its soft coral species and six of its seven species of marine turtle. Its unparalleled biological diversity is internationally recognised as being of outstanding universal value through its inscription on the World Heritage List.
The significant environmental values of the Reef also provide the basis for substantial economic activity. Tourism is a significant contributor. Around two million tourists visit the Reef each year, supporting an industry generating approximately $5 billion annually and 50,000 jobs. Ten major commercial fisheries operate in the Reef, contributing around $140 million to the economy each year. Recreational use of the Reef, including fishing, generates around $150 million each year, with more than 14 million visits occurring in 2007.
The Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2009 is an important stocktake on the state of the Reef and its outlook, based on the best available information. It is an opportunity to ensure our efforts to protect the Reef are on the right track.
The Outlook Report tells us that the Reef continues to be one of the worlds healthiest coral reef ecosystems. But it is also clear that there are significant challenges that need to be met.
The Commonwealth and Queensland governments are committed to meeting these challenges. This response to the Outlook Report by the governments identifies and accelerates key actions that ensure the Reef stays one of the best protected in the world. The Outlook Report will inform policy and management decisions into the future, and provide the baseline against which our collective efforts will be measured.
The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Australian Government Minister
for the Environment, Heritage
and the Arts
The Hon Kate Jones MP
Minister for Climate Change