The Great Barrier Reef is of “natural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and is of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity” (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO).
A healthy reef provides multiple benefits directly and indirectly to humans via marine biodiversity, tourism and the fishing industry and indeed human health depends in part on sustainable fulfilling employment and is linked to the health of the reef. The loss of the Great Barrier Reef will have adverse long term effects on the health and well being of Queenslanders and the nation. The loss will be economic through damage to the tourism industry, fishing and recreation which presently provide sustainable employment. There will also be direct health impacts resulting from toxic industries deployed adjacent to coast waters. The fundamental cause of this developing scenario is a government failure of understanding and regulation and unwillingness to address the problems of development because of the short term economic gains they provide.