For thirty years the biggest factor affecting the Great Barrier Reef has been the increased sediment and fertiliser carried into reef waters by all the rivers flowing eastwards in far north Queensland. This sediment and fertiliser comes from pasture on land cleared for cattle.
Recent coral bleaching, exacerbated by climate change, is compounding the threats to the reef.
The AJP focus on plant based eating works like a swiss army knife in that it works on multiple environmental issues at the same time; in this case climate change and the health of the Great Barrier Reef.
As in other areas, AJP policies target major causes rather than easy targets of minor importance.
- To phase out the cattle industry, starting with bans on further land clearing and the fertilisation of pasture; prioritising those regions closest to the most vulnerable parts of the reef.
- To ban any new coal and natural gas operations; this is part of our general climate change policy.
- Similarly, the phasing out of all fossil fuel production and export would see a reduction in bulk carriers passing through the reef.
- To set clear enforcible regulations on any other industry likely to adversely affect the reef; for example sugar, which is also a sediment and fertiliser culprit.