Canegrowers organise public lecture on Reef science


Bundaberg Canegrowers have organised a public lecture on 12 August 2019 to discuss the science of regulation around the Great Barrier Reef.

Geophysicist Dr Peter Ridd will present the argument that additional regulations are not needed.

The lecture is titled: How reliable is the science demonstrating damage to the Great Barrier Reef? The need for better quality control.

Reef science lecture
Geophysicist Dr Peter Ridd says additional regulations aren't needed to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

Dr Ridd has warned against trusting claims of Reef damage by the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

He said the Reef is actually in great order.

“There is no mud on the Reef where 99 per cent of our corals live. It is all sparkling white coral sand,” he said.

“Since reliable records began, the amount of coral on the Reef and the coral growth rate has not declined. Much of the science of the Reef has not been properly checked, tested, or replicated.”

Dr Ridd said the proposed new regulations “make no sense at all” for the Burnett Mary catchment because water from the Burnett River goes nowhere near the Reef.

“We are challenging the State Government to ensure legislation and remediation funds are being most appropriately directed to maximise the benefit for the Great Barrier Reef,” he said.

Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch met Bundaberg Region farmers in April to discuss the new regulations.

She said the State Government recognises this is an important issue.

“Our proposed reef regulations are about striking the right balance between protecting the Great Barrier Reef while supporting the farming community to improve profitability and productivity,” Ms Enoch said.

“Many farmers have already done amazing work to reduce run-off as part of the voluntary industry-led Smartcane Best Management Practice program.

“We recognise that farmers care about the Reef and are adjusting their practices to improve water quality, and that is why we have committed more than $6 million as part of the voluntary best management practice program.”

Ms Enoch said science shows that intervention is needed now to protect the Reef.

The public lecture is on Monday, 12 August, 5pm for a 5.30 start at Moncrieff Entertainment Centre.

  • Admission is free but bookings are required, visit here for details.