Friday, January 2, 2009

Reef report justifies regulating farming, minister says

ABC News Online, Posted Fri Jan 2, 2009 1:19pm AEDT 

Updated Fri Jan 2, 2009 1:28pm AEDT

The Queensland Government says new research showing a massive decline in coral growth rates on the Great Barrier Reef justifies plans to regulate the state's farming practices.

The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) has found coral growth is at its slowest rate in 400 years and could stop altogether by 2050.

The research shows absorption of atmospheric carbon into the ocean is causing as much damage to the reef as rising temperatures.

Queensland Minister for Natural Resources Craig Wallace says carbon emissions must be cut, even if it is unpopular.

"Already the State Opposition has indicated they won't support these particular measures," he said.

"We know we'll have opposition out there from industry groups who don't want to see regulation put in place, but this sobering news today from AIMS shows that drastic action must be taken.

"We will go down the road of regulation to protect that wonderful world icon."

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