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GBR polluters face tougher action under Qld’s new government

Oliver Milman writes in The Guardian (18.2.15): The Queensland government may adopt tough new regulations to tackle the amount of pollution flowing onto the Great Barrier Reef, with the state’s first ever reef minister vowing to strengthen protections to avoid the ecosystem being listed as “in danger” by the UN.

‘The new Labor government has promised to slash the amount of nitrogen flowing on to the reef from key catchments by 80% by 2025, while also cutting total suspended sediment reaching the reef by 50% by the same year.

‘While some progress has been made in encouraging farmers to change practices to stop harmful chemicals running off their land on to the reef, Labor has indicated new regulations may be introduced to achieve its targets.

‘“I don’t want to pre-empt any discussions but there are a range of levers available, from regulation to education to innovation and we’ll be looking to all of those to make sure it works,” Steven Miles, Queensland’s newly-appointed environment minister told Guardian Australia. Miles has also been given the new title of minister for the Great Barrier Reef.’

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