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Great Barrier Reef: Slow progress on water quality improvements, taskforce report says

The ABC’s Stephanie Smail reports (25.5.16) on claims from a scientific taskforce that lack of coordination between the government agencies responsible for managing the Great Barrier Reef had resulted in unduly slow responses to issues like worsening water quality.

‘Water quality management in Great Barrier Reef catchments is plagued by “poor communication” along with confused and ineffective policies, a new report has found.

‘The Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce’s final report said improvements in water quality had not been quick or effective enough to improve or even maintain water quality on the reef.

‘It highlighted the ongoing threat of sediment, nutrient and pesticide run-off and also recommends a legal cap on the amount of fertiliser farmers can use if other measures did not work.

‘The report found about half of cane famers and a tenth of graziers have participated in some best management practice, and around half in most districts were over-applying fertilisers.’

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