In The Conversation of 26.5.16 Karen Hussey, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, and Robin Smale, all from the Global Change Institute, University of Queensland, analyse the implications of the report by the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce presented to the Queensland environment minister, Dr Steven Miles on 25 May 2016.
‘The Queensland government has committed A$90 million over the next four years specifically for water quality. The federal government has also committed funding, but it remains to be seen how much will be directed specifically to water quality concerns.
‘The report recommends the money should be directed at understanding and beginning to reverse the impact of sediment and nutrient from rivers flowing into the Great Barrier Reef.
‘By any degree, the taskforce has done well in terms of bringing together a wide range of opinions and perspectives on a potentially contentious issue — views that are unified around the report’s conclusions.
‘While the report is not about climate change, climate change is critically important to whether the plan will ultimately succeed or fail. Stronger storms, floods, droughts and underwater heatwaves will all make the task of solving the water quality issue even harder.’