Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne dubbed the letter a call to action, saying it showed a “rare consensus” from the scientific community.
Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne dubbed the letter a call to action, saying it showed a “rare consensus” from the scientific community. Contributed

'Call to action' to review Great Barrier Reef threats

A LETTER from 150 scientists calling for a massive independent review of all the threats to the Great Barrier Reef was dubbed a "call to action" on Wednesday.

In the letter, more than 100 Australian scientists and some 50 international scientists called on the state and federal governments not to approve any more port developments outside of existing ports areas.

Those ports that should be put on hold until the major assessment was completed included planned developments at Port Alma, Balaclava Island and Curtis Island in central Queensland.

Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne dubbed the letter a call to action, saying it showed a "rare consensus" from the scientific community.

"Whether it's the coral bleaching events, acidification from climate change, crown of thorns starfish or the dredging and shipping associated with port developments, this shows people are concerned," she said.

"Scientists are traditionally a conservative bunch - they usually do not make consensus statements like this, and usually prefer to let their research speak for itself."

She said the letter showed politicians in charge of the reef at the state and federal level needed to do more, especially to assess how all the different environmental threats could affect the reef.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said the letter showed scientists were "on the same page as the resources sector".

But rather than approaching all science equally, he said the resources industry's only weapons were "facts evidence and science", saying the industry would "deploy those weapons resolutely and robustly".

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke was approached for comment for this story, but did not respond before deadline.


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