Great Barrier Reef Problems: Lawyers Say Not Enough Effort From Australia; 3 Kilometers Scar From A Traveling Ship

First Posted: Nov 29, 2016 04:00 AM EST

Scientists are making more way on how to repair the Great Barrier Reef, as it was destroyed by coral bleaching because of global warming. Now, lawyers claimed that Australia is not making enough effort to protect the reef.

According to the environmental lawyers, the government of Australia failed to protect the Great Barrier Reef. After the effect of the shipping disaster, the inaction to secure remediation funds will be a bigger problem as the increase of shipping traffic goes in.

Australia could face a problem if the issue is not yet resolved because they have to pass a report to the Unesco world heritage committee within the new two weeks. The report would include the state of the reef and how the country is acting to protect it.

The Great Barrier Reef has a 3-kilometer scar along the surface when the Chinese coal carrier Shen Neng 1 passed by in 2010. Also, the carrier left tons of toxic paint.

The clean up was delayed for six years because the government does not have any fund that is readily available for the "non-pollution" damage. So, the government had to conduct a long-term court battle.

In a press release announcing an out-of-court settlement in September, the chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Russell Reichelt, said that, "It is clearly unsatisfactory that it has taken more than six years to reach this point of settlement with the owners of Shen Neng 1, the Shenzhen Energy Transport Company," as quoted by The Guardian.

After the World Heritage Committee initiated such serious concerns about the future of the Great Barrier Reef, the government of Australia prepared a Reef 2050 plan. They might consider putting the Reef on the "List of World Heritage in Danger."

A lawyer from the Environmental Justice Australia, Ariane Wilkinson, said that "If the Australian Government cannot demonstrate that emergency funding is available to immediately clean up the next coal shipping disaster, this is yet another damning example of their abject failure to protect our Great Barrier Reef."

However, Atty. Wilkinson added that with increased number of ships traveling, and if the port of Abbot point is going to widen to ship coal from the proposed Carmichael mine straight through the reef, the next Shen Neng disaster is not a question of "if" but a question of "when," according to a report by Hold Fast Communications.

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