Wednesday 30 June 2021

Some public health order rules to follow in regional NSW if you don't want to become a COVIDIOT like Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce. Plus those who chose to be COVIDIOTS and were stopped by NSW Police


NSW Police Public Site., Latest News, 28-29 June 2021, excerpts:

Commencing 6pm Saturday (26 June 2021), social distancing and mandatory mask wearing while in non-residential indoor settings became mandatory for regional communities in NSW.

Northern Region police are now urging the public to take responsibility to ensure the safety of others, as residents and visitors travel the region during the school holiday period.

Northern Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Peter McKenna APM, said the public must not be complacent during this time and should comply with current NSW Health guidelines.

We all have a responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those around us, and to do that we have been advised to comply with the guidelines delivered by NSW Health,” Assistant Commissioner McKenna said.

For the minority of the public who choose to disregard this advice within the Northern Region, police will be there to hold you accountable; be it on the road, at public venues or events…..

The following restrictions now apply to regional areas and will remain in place until midnight on Friday 9 July 2021, unless extended or repealed earlier.

  • Visitors to households will be limited to five guests – including children;

  • Masks will be compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events;

  • Drinking while standing at indoor venues will not be allowed;

  • Singing by audiences at indoor shows or by congregants at indoor places of worship will not be allowed;

  • Dancing will not be allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs;

  • Dancing will be allowed at weddings, but only for the wedding party (no more than 20 people);

  • Dance and gym classes limited to 20 per class (masks must be worn);

  • The one person per four square metre rule will be re-introduced for all indoor and outdoor settings, including weddings and funerals;

  • Outdoor seated events will be limited to 50% seated capacity.

Anyone with information regarding individuals or businesses in contravention of COVID-19-related ministerial directions is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.


A travel company has been issued a $5000 PIN for breaching a public health order after taking three busloads of tourists to a zoo in the state’s west yesterday.

About 9.30am (Monday 28 June 2021), three buses arrived at the zoo on Obley Road, Dubbo.

On board were 128 staff and guests – at least 76 of whom were not permitted to travel outside Greater Sydney under the current public health order.

Staff at the zoo refused to allow the travellers off the buses and police were called.

Officers from Orana Mid-Western Police District attended and spoke to tour operators, establishing the group had left Sydney last Friday (25 June 2021) and had continued to travel throughout regional NSW after the Public Health Orders were updated on Saturday.

The guests were directed to return home immediately and the tour company has been issued a $5000 PIN.

State Emergency Operations Controller, Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys, said the company owner told police he was aware of the public health orders but decided to continue the tour as planned anyway.

But the staff at the zoo did exactly the right thing – they isolated the risk and alerted police. They did a great job to protect the local community,” Deputy Commissioner Worboys said.

Investigations into further possible breaches are continuing.


In other incidents, a man and woman have been charged with offences including assault after they allegedly refused to check in with a QR code when entering a restaurant at Forster.

About 7.15pm yesterday (Monday 28 June 2021), the couple attended the Wharf Street restaurant and were asked by staff to sign in using the QR code.

They refused and were informed they would have to leave if they did not comply. It is alleged the man again refused and picked up a bottle of water and threw it against a wall, smashing it.

The man was escorted from the restaurant and it is further alleged the man punched the owner, a 39-year-old man.

The woman allegedly bit a 44-year-old man who was attempting to intervene, causing bleeding and bruising to his bicep.

The owner sustained facial injuries and a suspected broken nose and was taken to Manning Base Hospital.

The man and woman left the restaurant; however, officers from Manning/Great Lakes Police District arrested both a short time later, and took them to Forster Police Station.

The 34-year-old man was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, affray, intimidation and malicious damage.

The 27-year-old woman was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm. They were granted conditional bail and are expected to appear in Forster Local Court on Wednesday 28 July 2021.

They were each issued $1000 PINs for fail to comply with noticed direction re section 7/8/9 – COVID-19.

In total, 34 PINs were issued yesterday and of those 16 were $200 infringements for failing to wear a fitted face covering.

Police continue to appeal to the community to report suspected breaches of any ministerial direction or behaviour which may impact on the health and safety of the community.


Two men are among 44 people issued with PINs for breaching a public health order yesterday, after they had to be rescued from the Royal National Park at Otford.

About 6pm (Sunday 27 June 2021), the men called for assistance after becoming lost in bushland during a visit to a remote beach.

Police Rescue assisted by the State Emergency Service, NSW Ambulance and Polair responded to the area, locating a 30-year-old man naked and carrying a backpack on the walking track near Lady Wakehurst Drive.

After a further search, a 49-year-old man, partially clothed, was also located. The men told police they were on a nearby beach when they ran into bushland after being startled by a deer.

They were taken to St George Police Station and issued $1000 PINs for breaching the current public health order prohibiting those from Greater Sydney travelling outside the region.

In other incidents, a café operator has been charged and is subject to strict bail conditions after being found allegedly breaching the public health order at Shellharbour.

About 9.40am, officers from Lake Illawarra Police District attended a café in Addison Street responding to reports staff were failing to comply with the current public health orders.

When officers arrived, they saw neither the staff or the operator were wearing face masks; the operator was reminded of her obligations under the current health orders but allegedly refused to comply.

The two staff members were warned and complied, putting masks on; however, a 38-year-old woman was arrested. She was taken to Port Kembla Police Station where she was charged with fail to comply with notice direction (not wear fitted face covering in retail/business premises), and operator not ensure hospitality workers wear fitted face coverings.

She was given bail conditions to strictly comply with the public health orders and not to incite or encourage others to defy them. She is due to appear in Port Kembla Local Court on Wednesday 21 July 2021.

In a third incident, police stopped a car on the Hume Highway at Goulburn and spoke with the driver, a 33-year-old man from Ermington. He was issued with a $1000 PIN and was directed to immediately return to Sydney.

Police have received hundreds of calls from the public over the weekend reporting potential public health order breaches, and would like to thank the vast majority of the community for their cooperation with the new rules.

In total, 44 $1000 PINs were issued yesterday and of those four $200 infringements were issued for failing to wear a fitted face covering.


The Guardian, 29 June 2021:

[Australian Deputy Prime Minister & Liberal MP For New England] Barnaby Joyce has been fined $200 for not wearing a mask while paying for petrol at a service station in Armidale after he was dobbed in by a member of the public.


A word from the Australian Cartoonists Association.....

The Washington Post, 17 June 2021:

The five-person jury for the category picked the finalists but the larger Pulitzer Prize Board, which selects the winners for all the prizes in journalism and the arts, did not do so for cartooning because no consensus pick emerged. That happens every so often in various categories, but this was the first time in nearly a half-century that it had happened to political artists.

The Australian Cartoonists Association was not amused.....

To the Pulitzer Board.

I write as President, and on behalf, of the Australian Cartoonists Association, to express solidarity with our American editorial cartoonist colleagues, and to express our disappointment in the decision by the Pulitzer Prize Board not to award a prize for cartooning this year.

I note that the last year has been epic in the colliding of catastrophes, upheavals and conflicts both natural and man-made, and cartoonists, in spite of their precarious employment and challenging circumstances, have risen mightily to capture the moment(s).

In an era when the sharp line and elucidating perspective of cartoonists is more vital than ever to counter forces of obscurity and suppression of truth, we can ill afford to placate the powers for whom our silence and invisibility would be convenient. Cartoonists are necessary for a healthy democracy. Dictators hate us!

We could understand, having seen the work of contenders, that it may have been difficult for you to choose one over another. Could they have shared the prize? However, to not award a cartoonist this year suggests not an embarrassment of riches, but that no cartoonist was good enough.

And we think that is far from the truth.

Yours sincerely,

Cathy Wilcox 

President Australian Cartoonists Association

27 June, 2021

Well said, Ms. Wilcox!

Tuesday 29 June 2021

The world is losing patience with the Australian Liberal-Nationals Coalition Government - Part 2


The face that the Morrison Government was showing the world....

Australian Government, Dept. of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Australia's World Heritage, excerpt:

Australia is a member of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, securing a seat from 2017 to 2021. The Committee consists of 21 members, elected every two years from the 193 countries that are a party to the World Heritage Convention.

The Committee makes decisions on World Heritage property nominations and state of conservation matters worldwide. It plays a vital role in the protection and celebration of natural and cultural sites around the world that hold Outstanding Universal Value. Some sites on the World Heritage List include the Great Wall of China, the Lascaux Caves of France, Machu Pichu, the Galapagos Islands, the Pyramids of Giza and the Tropical Rainforests of Borneo.

Australia has 19 sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, including ico nic sites such as Sydney Opera House, Uluru-Kata Tjuta, Kakadu, the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, our mammal fossil sites at Riversleigh and Naracoorte, and the Great Barrier Reef – places that are vital to the cultural, social and economic fabric of our nation. Australia has more natural World Heritage sites than any other country. [my yellow highlighting]

Australia was a founding member of the World Heritage Convention and was last on the World Heritage Committee from 2007-2011. During this Committee term Australia led the development of the Convention’s Strategic Action Plan.

Our membership of the Committee allows us to share our extensive experience in managing our natural and cultural heritage, including by assisting other countries to prepare World Heritage nominations and build their capacity to manage sites.

During our 2017 – 2021 term, Australia will work to strengthen the operation of the Committee, placing emphasis on the effective management of existing properties, and encouraging greater geographic balance in the list and more focus on listing natural places of Outstanding Universal Value.......

The face the Berejiklian Government was showing the world.... 

NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, Greater Blue Mountains Area, 3 September 2019:

The Greater Blue Mountains Area was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2000 in recognition of its significant natural values. It possesses unique plants and animals that relate an extraordinary story of the evolution of Australia's distinctive eucalypt vegetation and its associated communities.....

The Greater Blue Mountains Area World Heritage Advisory Committee advises on matters relating to the protection, conservation, presentation and management of the Greater Blue Mountains Area, helping to fulfil Australia’s obligations under the World Heritage Convention.

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service manages the 8 reserves that make up the Greater Blue Mountains Area" 

What UNESCO and the media were telling the world......

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), World Heritage CouncilGreater Blue Mountains Area, Description, excerpts:

Greater Blue Mountains Area

The Greater Blue Mountains Area consists of 1.03 million ha of sandstone plateaux, escarpments and gorges dominated by temperate eucalypt forest. The site, comprised of eight protected areas, is noted for its representation of the evolutionary adaptation and diversification of the eucalypts in post-Gondwana isolation on the Australian continent. Ninety-one eucalypt taxa occur within the Greater Blue Mountains Area which is also outstanding for its exceptional expression of the structural and ecological diversity of the eucalypts associated with its wide range of habitats. The site provides significant representation of Australia's biodiversity with ten percent of the vascular flora as well as significant numbers of rare or threatened species, including endemic and evolutionary relict species, such as the Wollemi pine, which have persisted in highly-restricted microsites….

Protection and Management Requirements

The GBMA is protected and managed under legislation of both the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of New South Wales. All World Heritage properties in Australia are ‘matters of national environmental significance’ protected and managed under national legislation, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. This Act is the statutory instrument for implementing Australia’s obligations under a number of multilateral environmental agreements including the World Heritage Convention. By law, any action that has, will have or is likely to have a significant impact on the World Heritage values of a World Heritage property must be referred to the responsible Minister for consideration. Substantial penalties apply for taking such an action without approval. Once a heritage place is listed, the Act provides for the preparation of management plans which set out the significant heritage aspects of the place and how the values of the site will be managed. [my yellow highlighting]

Importantly, this Act also aims to protect matters of national environmental significance, such as World Heritage properties, from impacts even if they originate outside the property or if the values of the property are mobile (as in fauna). It thus forms an additional layer of protection designed to protect values of World Heritage properties from external impacts. In 2007, the GBMA was added to the National Heritage List, in recognition of its national heritage significance under the Act.

A single State government agency, the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage, manages the area. All the reserves that comprise the GBMA are subject to the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 and the Wilderness Act 1987. Other relevant legislation includes the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, the Sydney Water Catchment Management Act 1998 and the Heritage Act 1977.

At the time of nomination statutory management plans for the constituent reserves of the GBMA were in place or in preparation, and these are reviewed every 7-10 years. Currently all management plans have been gazetted, and those for three component reserves (Wollemi, Blue Mountains, and Kanangra-Boyd National Parks, which constitute 80% of the property) are under revision for greater emphasis on the protection of identified values. An over-arching Strategic Plan for the property provides a framework for its integrated management, protection, interpretation and monitoring. ....

The Guardian, 8 March 2019:

The New South Wales government has been accused of not following due process when it passed legislation to allow flooding in the heritage-listed Blue Mountains.

The Greater Blue Mountains area is already recognised globally for its environmental significance but now some sections are being assessed by the federal government for inclusion on the national heritage list for Aboriginal cultural values.

A Unesco advisory body has warned NSW legislation passed in 2018, as part of the Coalition’s plan to raise Warragamba Dam wall by 14m, could endanger the area’s cultural values.

The International Council on Monuments and Sites wrote to the Unesco world heritage centre in February 2019 arguing the legislation shouldn’t have been proposed before the commonwealth’s cultural values assessment was finalised.

It is inappropriate ... for the NSW parliament to be enabling legislation that would impact upon established world or national heritage values or potential national heritage values,” the letter, seen by AAP, states.

The ICOMOS Australia president, Ian Travers, said it would be unacceptable for the Blue Mountains to be flooded before the presumed cultural values of the area were fully known.

If the areas being assessed are inundated in the interim, it’s not acceptable,” he said.

The correct process hasn’t been followed. They’re enabling legislation, which is directly contrary to what should be happening.”

Thousands of cultural sites were flooded when Warragamba Dam was built in the 1960s, and Aboriginal elders are concerned the plan to raise the wall will destroy those that are left.

Traditional owners feel very strongly that their cultural heritage, that’s already been decimated, is about to eradicated,” Travers said.

Gundungurra elder Sharyn Halls urged the heritage centre to investigate the threat to thousands of cultural areas including burial sites, waterholes and artefacts.....

UNESCO, 43rd Session of World Heritage Committee, July 2019:

Decision: 43 COM 7B.2

Greater Blue Mountains Area (Australia) (N 917)

The World Heritage Committee,


1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B.Add

2. Recalling Decision 28 COM 15B.15, adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),

3. Notes with concern that the State Party recognizes that the proposed raising of the Warragamba Dam wall is expected to increase the frequency and extent of temporary inundation of the property upstream of the dam; 

4. Considers that the inundation of areas within the property resulting from the raising of the dam wall are likely to have an impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, recalls Decision 40 COM 7, in which it considered that the construction of dams with large reservoirs within the boundaries of World Heritage properties is incompatible with their World Heritage status, and urged States Parties to “ensure that the impacts from dams that could affect properties located upstream or downstream within the same river basin are rigorously assessed in order to avoid impacts on the OUV”, and requests the State Party to ensure, in line with its commitment, that the current process to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposal fully assesses all potential impacts on the OUV of the property and its other values, including Aboriginal cultural heritage, and to submit a copy of the EIS to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, prior to taking any final decisions regarding the project; 

5. Also notes with concern that several mining projects exist in the vicinity of or adjacent to the property, and that some mining activities have resulted in impacts on the property, as evidenced by the incident at the Clarence Colliery, and also requests the State Party to undertake an assessment of potential cumulative impacts of all existing and planned mining projects in the vicinity of the property through a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) or a similar mechanism; 

6. Reiterates its position that mineral exploration or exploitation is incompatible with World Heritage status, which is supported by the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) Position Statement to not undertake such activities within World Heritage properties; 

7. Notes the information provided by the State Party regarding the Western Sydney Airport proposal and further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre a copy of the EIS for the anticipated airspace and flight path operations, once available, for review by IUCN; 

8. Welcomes the development of a Strategic Management Framework for the property as a new integrated management instrument and requests furthermore the State Party to ensure that potential threats to the property from activities outside its boundaries, particularly mining, are fully considered in the development of this management framework and that the EIS required are carried out in conformity with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, with a specific section focusing on the potential impact of the project(s) on the property’s OUV; 

9. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session in 2021.


The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 June 2021:

The Berejiklian government has been asked by UNESCO to submit the environmental impact study on its plan to raise the Warragamba Dam wall for review before final approval out of concern about the damage the project will have on wildlife and Indigenous culture in the World Heritage area.

The request, made overnight by a committee of the UN body, fell short of matching a separate recommendation that another World Heritage-listed region in Australia, the Great Barrier Reef, be assessed as “in danger” because of climate change.

The Berejiklian government’s plan to raise the Warragamba Dam wall has been discussed at a UNESCO World Heritage meeting overnight. CREDIT:JAMES BRICKWOOD


Still, the government has been put on notice that the $1 billion-plus plan to lift the height of the dam wall by at least 14 metres will be closely watched by the World Heritage Committee because of the expected damage caused by even temporary inundation of parts of the Greater Blue Mountains.

In its statement, the committee repeated its request that the “State Party” ensures the environmental impact study “assesses all potential impacts on the Outstanding Universal Values of the property and its other values, including Aboriginal cultural heritage”.

The request also includes the government “thoroughly” assesses how raising the wall would exacerbate bushfire impacts and affect the longer-term recovery of “key species and habitats” burnt during the 2019-20 season…..

Read the full article here

It should be noted that the "State Party" is the Commonwealth of Australia and it is the Australian Government which receives and replies to all requests and correspondence from UNESCO and the World Heritage Committee.

It was the Australian Government which assured UNESCO & the World Heritage Committee in April 2019 that it "reaffirms Australia's commitment to protecting the Outstanding Universal Value of this globally significant area".

So it is somewhat puzzling that a Nine Entertainment Co (Chair - former Australian Treasurer & Liberal MP for Higgins Peter Costello) masthead The Sydney Morning Herald runs an article which redirects primary responsibility onto the New South Wales Government rather than noting it is the Morrison Government which is being held to account by UNESCO and it will be the Morrison Government responsible for any and all environmental, biodiversity and cultural losses in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area if section/s of this area is flooded.

Monday 28 June 2021

NAIDOC Week - a celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples - from 4 to 11 July 2021 across Australia


Postponement of the National NAIDOC Awards 2021

After the cancellation of the National NAIDOC Awards 2021 in Mparntwe (Alice Springs), the National NAIDOC Committee and our key partners had been working towards a gala Awards Ceremony at the Sydney Opera House on Saturday 3 July.

However, following the recent announcements by the NSW Premier and increasing health risk, we have had to take the unfortunate decision to postpone this ceremony.

NAIDOC Week will still be held from 4-11 July.

Restrictions on travellers returning from NSW and Greater Sydney meant that most NNC members, all Award finalists and most of our performers could not attend the Awards without a 14-day quarantine on their return.

Following discussions with all our partners and key stakeholders, we all was agreed the restrictions that are now necessary in NSW would have greatly affected the quality, structure and gala celebration of the Awards.

We’ll soon regroup with all our key stakeholders to look at a suitable date later in the year for an Awards Ceremony, hopefully well clear of COVID-19 clusters and one that can truly be a stunning NAIDOC Awards evening.

It is a timely reminder that Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be a concern for communities around Australia and we all need keep our mob safe this NAIDOC Week by making sure our events and celebrations are held in a COVIDSafe way.

NAIDOC WEEK EVENTS* can be found at:

* The National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week and its acronym has since become the name of the week itself.

Sunday 27 June 2021

The world is losing patience with the Australian Liberal-Nationals Coalition Government


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):

Great Barrier Reef

Outstanding Value

The Great Barrier Reef is a site of remarkable variety and beauty on the north-east coast of Australia. It contains the world’s largest collection of coral reefs, with 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 types of mollusc. It also holds great scientific interest as the habitat of species such as the dugong (‘sea cow’) and the large green turtle, which are threatened with extinction.

UNESCO Great Barrier Reef Mapping January 2012 by clarencegirl on Scribd


UNESCOWorld Heritage 44 COM draft document, excerpt:

Item 7B of the Provisional Agenda: State of conservation of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List…...

90. Great Barrier Reef (Australia) (N 154)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1981

Criteria (vii)(viii)(ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger N/A

Previous Committee Decisions see page

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0

Total amount approved: USD 0

For details, see page 

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds N/A

Previous monitoring missions March 2012: joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Changes to oceanic waters

Ground water pollution

Marine transport infrastructure (Coastal development, including development of ports, shipping lane impacts, grounding of ships)

Non-renewable energy facilities (Liquefied Natural Gas facilities)

Marine transport infrastructure (ports)

Other climate change impacts


Surface water pollution

Temperature change

Illustrative material see page

Current conservation issues

On 18 December 2018, the State Party submitted a letter regarding the mid-term review of the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan (Reef 2050 Plan) and its results, along with information that a new Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan 2017-2022 (WQIP) had been released.

On 18 July 2019, the State Party submitted a position statement on climate change from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA).

On 6 August 2019, the World Heritage Centre sent a letter to the State Party raising concerns about the approval of the Carmichael Coal Mine, to which the State Party responded on 6 September 2019, noting that the project’s approval is subject to over 180 regulatory conditions and that compliance with these conditions will be monitored.

On 30 August 2019, the State Party submitted the Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2019 (2019 GBR Outlook Report) and the Reef Water Quality Report Card 2017 and 2018.

On 29 November 2019, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, available at, providing the following information:

A number of factors have negatively affected the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property since 2015, including mass coral bleaching events in 2016 and 2017;

The 2019 GBR Outlook Report concluded that the long-term outlook for the ecosystem of the property has deteriorated from poor to very poor and that climate change remains the most serious threat for the property. Other key threats are land-based run-off, coastal development and some direct human uses. It further concluded that accelerated action to mitigate climate change and improve water quality was essential to turn this outlook around. The report also concluded that the OUV of the property remained intact; however, components underpinning it have deteriorated since the inscription. Specifically, it noted a 30% loss of shallow-water coral cover following the 2016 bleaching event and the combined footprint of the 2016 and 2017 bleaching event extending over two thirds of the property. Furthermore, deterioration of the ecological processes underpinning the OUV of the property “has been more rapid and widespread than was evident in the period 2009 to 2014”;

It is acknowledged that climate change requires effective global action under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (2015), with the 1,5 °C target widely recognized as a critical threshold for the property;

A mid-term review of the Reef 2050 Plan was undertaken in 2017, in light of the aforementioned bleaching events in 2016 and 2017. The updated Reef 2050 Plan, published in July 2018, recognizes the impacts of climate change on the property and the importance of global action for climate change mitigation. The next full review of the Plan is currently in progress and was due to be completed in 2020, based on the outcomes of the mid-term review and the 2019 GBR Outlook Report;

The Reef 2050 Plan Insights Report, an independent assessment, which considered whether the Reef 2050 Plan was effective in achieving its vision, concluded that the Plan “has provided a very sound framework for improving the effective management of the Reef’s values”. An independent assessment of management effectiveness, prepared to inform the 2019 GBR Outlook Report, noted a number of improvements resulting from the Reef 2050 Plan;

An assessment of progress towards achieving the targets of the Reef 2050 Plan notes that while some of them are being met, significant improvements will be required to meet other targets, including those for biodiversity and water quality;

A USD 430 million WQIP is being implemented. The Reef Water Quality Report Card 2017 and 2018 concluded that, despite some advancement, progress towards achieving the 2025 targets has been very slow, with property-wide results for sediment reduction and dissolved inorganic nitrogen assessed as “very poor” and results for most of land management targets as “poor” or “very poor”;

New legislation was approved by the Queensland Government in September 2019 to strengthen the regulatory framework for reducing nutrient and sediment releases. Changes were also introduced to the Queensland’s vegetation management laws in 2018 to prevent clearing of remnant vegetation in reef catchments;

Additional funding commitments were made since the release of the Reef 2050 Plan Investment Framework in 2016. Total state and federal investment for the Reef 2050 Plan implementation between 2014-2024 has increased from an estimated USD 1,43 billion in 2015 to an estimated USD 1,94 billion in 2020;

Additional actions have also been undertaken to build the resilience of the property, including through the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Programmes. On 17 April 2020, the State Party submitted additional preliminary information regarding the coral bleaching events that took place in spring 2020. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN also received letters and third-party information about the Reef 2050 Plan progress and the effects of climate change on the property. On 1 February 2021, the State Party submitted additional information, providing an update on the state of conservation of the property:

The geographic footprint of the 2020 bleaching event was the largest to date; however, there was significant variability in the severity of bleaching;

The Reef Water Quality Report Card 2019 has been released and demonstrates further progress towards some targets, particularly the one on the dissolved inorganic nitrogen; State of conservation of properties WHC/21/44.COM/7B.Add, p. 85 Inscribed on the World Heritage List;

The updated Reef 2050 Plan is expected to be released in 2021, following an extensive consultation process;

Additional investment in various programmes and projects was announced in 2020.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

Since the inception of the Reef 2050 Plan in 2015, the State Party has shown strong commitment to its implementation, including through ensuring unprecedented levels of financial support and the mobilization of inter-institutional collaboration. These efforts should be commended. However, despite these efforts, the OUV of the property has continued to decline. The conclusions of the 2019 GBR Outlook Report are clear in stating that the long-term outlook for the ecosystem of the property has further deteriorated from poor to very poor, and that the deterioration has been more rapid and widespread than was evident during the period 2009-2014. The property has also suffered significantly from coral bleaching events in 2016, 2017 and most recently in 2020, as a result of global warming.

In its Decision 39 COM 7B.7 (2015), the World Heritage Committee decided to review the state of conservation of the property at its 44th session, linked to the findings of the anticipated 2019 GBR Outlook Report. In the five years following this Decision, both the current condition and the long-term outlook for the property have deteriorated. Therefore, there is no possible doubt that the property is facing ascertained danger, according to Paragraph 180 a) of the Operational Guidelines.

In its Decision 41 COM 7B.24 (2017), the World Heritage Committee encouraged the State Party to accelerate efforts toward meeting the intermediate and long-term targets of the Reef 2050 Plan, in particular those related to water quality. As confirmed in the State Party’s report and previous assessments, improving water quality is central to turning around the further deterioration of the property. The results of the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Reef Water Quality Report Cards, however, confirm that despite some commendable achievements, particularly on the dissolved inorganic nitrogen (as demonstrated by the 2019 Report Card), and although the Reef 2050 Plan has provided a coherent framework to improve the management of the property, progress towards achieving the targets has been very slow in many key areas.

It can be concluded that, despite many positive achievements by the State Party, progress has been insufficient in meeting key targets of the Reef 2050 Plan. The Plan requires stronger and clearer commitments, in particular towards urgently countering the effects of climate change, but also towards accelerating water quality improvement and land management measures. The widespread effects of the consecutive coral bleaching events further add to the significant concerns regarding the future of the property. While the mid-term review of the Reef 2050 Plan has already outlined some considerations concerning climate change, it is crucial that its final form fully incorporate the conclusions of the 2019 GBR Outlook report, provide clear commitments to address threats from climate change, in conformity with the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, and allow to meet water quality targets faster. It is further essential that the final plan incorporate the necessary measures to fully implement the Plan’s overall mission to secure the sustainable conservation of the property for future generations.

Based on the above, and noting, in particular, that both the current condition and the long-term outlook of the property have deteriorated, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN consider that the property is facing ascertained danger according to Paragraph 180 a) of the Operational Guidelines and hence recommend that the Committee inscribe the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger. It is further recommended that the Committee request the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to collaboratively develop a set of corrective measures and a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR). It is recommended that the corrective measures focus on ensuring that the Reef 2050 Plan’s policy commitments, targets and implementation adequately address the threat of climate change and water quality and take into account the fact that the State Party on its own cannot address the threats of climate change.

It is further recommended that the Committee call with the utmost urgency upon all States Parties and the international community to implement the most ambitious actions to address climate change to meet their obligations to the World Heritage Convention, as defined under Article 6 of the Convention and fulfil their responsibility to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

Draft Decision: 44 COM 7B.90

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decisions 39 COM 7B.7 and 41 COM 7B.24, adopted at its 39th (Bonn, 2015) and 41st (Krakow, 2017) sessions, respectively,

3. Commends the State Party for the strong and continued efforts to create conditions for the implementation of the Reef 2050 Long-term Sustainability Plan (Reef 2050 Plan), including through unprecedented financial commitments;

4. Notes with the utmost concern and regret the conclusions of the 2019 Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report (2019 GBR Outlook Report) that the long-term outlook for the ecosystem of the property has further deteriorated from poor to very poor, that the deterioration of the ecological processes underpinning the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property has been more rapid and widespread than was previously evident, and that the property has suffered significantly from mass coral bleaching events in 2016, 2017 and 2020;

5. Also notes with the utmost concern that despite many positive achievements, progress has been largely insufficient in meeting key targets of the Reef 2050 Plan, in particular the water quality and land management targets, as evidenced by the conclusions of the 2017-2018 and 2019 Reef Quality Report Cards ;

6. Noting the conclusion of the 2019 GBR Outlook Report that climate change remains the most serious threat to the property, and recognizing that action by the international community and all States Parties to the Convention is urgently required to address threats from climate change, considers that actions to build resilience of the property and address other factors remain of utmost importance;

7. Also considers that the property is facing ascertained danger, according to Paragraph 180 a) of the Operational Guidelines;

8. Decides to inscribe the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) on the List of World Heritage in Danger;

9. Urges the State Party to ensure that the revised Reef 2050 Plan, expected to be finalized in 2021, fully incorporates the conclusions of the 2019 GBR Outlook Report that accelerated action at all possible levels is required to address the threat from climate change, in accordance with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (2015), and to urgently create opportunities for recovery of the property, in particular with regard to water quality;

10. Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to develop a set of corrective measures and a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), centred around ensuring that the revised Reef 2050 Plan addresses the threat posed to the property by climate change and determines a pathway for accelerated actions in other areas affecting the conservation of the property;

11. Also recalling Decision 41 COM 7 in which the Committee “reiterate[d] the importance of States Parties undertaking the most ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by “holding State of conservation of properties WHC/21/44.COM/7B.Add, p. 87 Inscribed on the World Heritage List the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and by pursuing efforts to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change”, strongly invites all States Parties to undertake actions to address Climate Change under the Paris Agreement consistent with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities,in the light of different national circumstances, that are fully consistent with their obligations within the World Heritage Convention to protect the OUV of all World Heritage properties;

12. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session in 2022.

[my yellow highlighting throughout document text] 

Typically the Morrison Government refuses to take responsibility for its feeble response to the climate change and extinction crises playing out in the largest and most biodiverse marine species nursery and feeding ground in Australian waters - including many edible fish species. 

The federal government takes this position even though it admitted to a United Nations agency, UNESCO, that under its stewardship the Outstanding Universal Value of the Great Barrier Reef was diminishing and the long-term outlook for the ecosystem of the reef had further deteriorated from poor to very poor.

It has decided that the genuine alarm being expressed in the aforementioned UNESCO draft document has been generated by Chinese Government animus.

In this particular instance the usual political response of 'blame Labor' has been changed to 'blame China'.

The Guardian, 22 June 2021, excerpt:

The government suspects China may have played a role in the latest recommendation. It chairs the World Heritage Committee and will host a meeting on 16 July at which the draft recommendation will be considered. 

Ley said climate change was the biggest threat to the reef but the world heritage committee was “not the forum” to “make a point” about climate change. 

“This decision was flawed and clearly there was politics behind it, and that has subverted the proper process. For the World Heritage committee not to foreshadow this listing is appalling,” she told reporters on Tuesday.