All the petitions, all the protest and all the money we raised to send experts to speak with the World Heritage Committee has paid off. Abbott’s attempt to de-list part of the old growth forest in Tasmania has been blocked by the World Heritage Committee and there is a great deal of relief mingled with embarrassment for everyone involved.
The relief is for the support of the previous listing and the embarrassment is because our Prime Minister ignored the preliminary warning from the Heritage Advisory Board which said quite plainly that they would advise a rejection of the proposal and it should not proceed to the committee.
Abbott insisted on pushing onward to our public shame and has now been both rebuffed and rebuked publicly for the attempt.
We are also facing censure in regards to The Great Barrier Reef as UNSECO has refused to remove the threat of listing this World Heritage Site as ‘In Danger’. Twice the decision has been put off by submissions from the Australian Government but the threat has been renewed.
It appears that we have until 2015 to have an acceptable policy for care of the reef. If we don’t Australia will be the only First World Country to have an ‘In Danger‘ listing to a world heritage site, adding even more international shame in regards to our conservation policies.
It is even more damaging in that the Great Barrier Reef is one of the Great Wonders of the World and it appears we are not treating it with the respect it deserves especially in regards to recent decisions regarding dumping and the proposed expansion of the Abbott Point Coal Terminal.
The World Wildlife Foundation’s Great Barrier Reef campaign leader, Richard Leck, says time is running out:
When organisations like UNSECO use language like “concern” or “regret” that is very significant, it doesn’t get much more significant than that. And what we’ve seen in this decision today is a reflection of what thousands of Australians and leading scientists have also said – that the decision to dump in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area is an appalling decision, it needs to be overturned, and dumping needs to be ruled out forever and a day. [The ABC]
We’ve had a win for the Tasmanian Forests but the Fight For The Reef is still ongoing and it does not appear that our leader has been at all daunted by the very public censure from the World Heritage Body nor the ongoing negativity from other world leaders.
It is very obvious that he remains [deliberately?] blind to the very real unrest and unhappiness with his government here in Australia so I do not think we can relax our stance over the LNP policies in any way. Thank you to everyone who signed the petitions regarding upholding the World Heritage status in Tasmania.
I’m sure you’re as pleased as I am that they will be safe from this governments attempts to strip mine this country of its assets.