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9 April, 2021

One Nation MP calls for indepdent reef verification

MIRANI MP, Stephen Andrew has called for an independent and stand-alone verification of Queensland’s coral reefs, concerning water quality and overall reef condition.

The Member for Mirani, Stephen Andrew is questioning if Queensland university academics are publicising biased agendas and being rewarded with unquestioned government funding, after $2 plus billion has been allocated to the Reef 2050 Plan.

“The money keeps flowing to those perpetuating self-serving and biased agendas,” Mr Andrew said.

“Mackay and Townsville academics need an independent and transparent inquiry to see if government grants to university researchers have provided value for money.

“The federal government even gave $444 million to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, which the National Audit Office found did not comply with normal transparency rules.

“The federal Government’s National Audit Office said that without transparency, it questioned if there was value for money and if governments grants are based on an incomplete assessment of the evidence.

“The National Audit Office found that research grants did not follow rules around making grants, where programmes getting government grants must have clear objectives for funding.

“So, there are hidden facts which marine biologists and scientists are not telling us.”

Mr Andrew said an independent Mackay and Townsville based stand-alone verification of Queensland’s coral reefs will give us a clear picture of what the low tide shows.

“Even in stagnated areas like Mackay Marina, it seems that coral are varied, growing and healthy.

“Open water corals get millions of tonnes of water passing over them, but we are told they are dying.”

Mr Andrew said that the Queensland Government allows 200 tonnes of coral to be harvested annually.

“Additionally, permits are also granted to large corporations to harvest coral as well, but the sunscreen industry and pharmaceutical corporation’s harvest quantities that the Government will not divulge?

“I have asked questions in parliament of the Queensland government about the health of coral reefs.

“But I could not get a straight answer from the Environment Minister (or from departmental head), during parliamentary estimate committee meetings.

“I asked about how science can differentiate between natural and agricultural runoff and what baseline figure all this money seeks to achieve, but so far, I have been presented with nothing?

“Yet billions is spent on water quality and on the destruction of agriculture, mining and associated businesses.

“But the truth is under the water.”

Mr Andrew added that in 2011 Queensland’s climate scientists also predicted that unless something was done about greenhouse gasses, it would be too late to save the Great Barrier Reef.

“But two days ago, the same scientists tweeted that “hidden coral species suggest a much greater diversity of coral than first thoughts”.

“I can’t believe that these scientists make a living out of making scientific predictions on what they thought, rather than what was researched.”

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