Leaked letter the blueprint for NQ’s destruction: KAP

KAP MPs at State Parliament

18 October 2023

A leaked letter outlining the Commonwealth Labor Government’s plans to hang Australia farmers, fishers and battlers out to dry in order to appease international elites has been described as the “blueprint for regional destruction” by furious North Queensland-based MPs.

The letter, authored by Federal Environment and Water Minister Tanya Plibersek to UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay on 25 May 2023, describes in detail a suite of new water quality, fisheries and climate change measures being pursued by Labor in response to UNESCO’s Reactive Monitoring Mission to the Great Barrier Reef report.

In her letter, Minister Plibersek writes that the Commonwealth Government had “worked closely with the World Heritage Centre to ensure these actions meet your expectations and address the recommendations of the Mission report”.

Among these measures are promises to UNESCO to:

  • Enact, with immediate effect, a major shift in its water quality programs, specifically implementing:
  1. By 31 December 2023, a complete mapping of all priority areas of grazing land for gully repairs and associated restoration and remediation activities;
  2. By January 2024, double compliance activity being undertaken across the regulated reef catchment areas comparative to 2021 in order to enforce landholder compliance with reef protection regulated standards;
  3. By July 2024, expand the implementation of 2018 land clearing legislation and further strengthen protection to remnant and high value conservation areas;
  4. By February 2025, accelerate progress to achieve all water quality targets through a program of sediment, nutrient and pesticide reduction through combined efforts in regulation, incentives and accelerated landscape restoration programs (e.g. a further 32.3% reduction in dissolved inorganic nitrogen loads).
  • Completely restructure access to fisheries in and around the Reef, specifically:
  1. By 31 December 2023, establishing a complete net-free zone in the North third of the property (Cape Bedford to the tip of the Cape York) and establishing additional net-free zones that expand net restrictions in the Gulf of Carpentaria so to “strengthen protections for threatened species that move between the GBR and the Gulf”;
  2. By 31 December 2023, finalising all harvest strategies with defined quotas for all key species and by 31 December 2027 working to achieve the target maximum economic yield of 60% biomass;
  3. By 31 December 2023, introduce legislation to mandate the use of Independent Data Validation on all commercial fishing vessels.
  4. By 30 June 2027, phasing out all gillnet fisheries to ensure the property as a whole will be gill-net free.
  • Set successively more ambitious emissions reduction targets, reflecting the highest possible ambition, consistent with achieving net zero by 2050, by:
  1. Ensuring emissions reductions of 43 per cent by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050;
  2. Continually increasing the Government’s climate ambition by working urgently to implement its substantial and rigorous suite of new policies to maximise their emissions impact and drive Australia’s transition to net zero;
  3. Increase Australia’s renewable electricity generation to 82 per cent by 2030;
  4. By 2035, ensuring Queensland has no regular reliance on coal for power production.

Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter said the Minister and her Queensland counterparts’ agreement to UNESCO’s demands were a gross betrayal of the Australian people.

He said Australians would be outraged to learn that Labor had compromised national sovereignty and shamelessly handed over its political autonomy to a global authority that would never have to wear the consequences of the sweeping, and bizarre, policy changes.

“If you are in farming or fishing, and live in a regional or rural Queensland community, you should be deeply disturbed by the anti-future you have been relegated to in direct response to bullying by the Paris-based UNESCO,” he said.

“No Parisians will see their seafood communities closed, their farming operates rendered, or the use of their own natural resources to power their homes and businesses made illegal.

“It is the people of our communities, our state, who are the sacrificial lambs to this nonsensical obsession to ‘save the reef’, despite it boasting record high coral cover in recent years.

“Political heads need to roll over these decisions which have been deliberately concealed from the people it will actually affect.”

KAP Federal MP for Kennedy Bob Katter tabled the Federal Environment Minister’s letter to UNESCO in the Federal Parliament yesterday and called on her to explain its authenticity and motives.

He said among the many issues the agreements with the unelected international body posed, including the influence over sovereign governing capability, was the trespass of a foreign entity on Australian land.

“There’s no value in land ownership if you take away our rights to use the land,” Bob Katter said.

“The Magna Carta lays down clearly that my land is my land, not the government’s. The government has no right to set foot on my land.

“Now, here we have our land ownership being degraded to nothing.

“In this area is seven per cent of Australia’s fruit and vegetable manufacturing. We already import 12 per cent from overseas, so now we’re going to import one-fifth of our fruit and vegetables from overseas, are we? Is this a good outcome for Australia?”

KAP Deputy Leader and Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto said the Federal Environment Minister should be tried for treason after selling Australia out and sacrificing Australian industries to appease UNESCO.

“When the Federal Member for Kennedy took the Minister to task on this letter during parliament yesterday, the Minister stood there and preached about how proud of it she was as though the government had done Australia some great service,” he said.

“I don’t recall ever going to the polls and being asked whether or not I wanted to vote for UNESCO, so how is this international, bureaucratic body dictating to Australia how we manage our country?

“What this letter clearly sets out is a step-by-step plan by the State and Federal Governments to decimate large portions of Northern Queensland’s farming and fishing industries.

“Queenslanders who feed our nation demand that the State Premier denounce these plans. Though the big question still needs answering: did she know about this step-by-step plan all along and did she endorse it?

“The Premier must come clean with Queenslanders. Our rural communities rely heavily on these industries that are earmarked to be either outright banned or over-regulated to the point of becoming untenable.

“Our ag and fishing industries work hard to put food on our tables and they deserve to be represented by a Government that works to protect and support them, not one that casts them aside in the name of cheap, political point scoring in inner city Brisbane seats under threat by the Greens.”

KAP Hill MP Shane Knuth said a betrayal of the North Queensland people had been committed.

“Fishing, agriculture and mining are the backbone of our economy but are under constant attack from both our state and federal governments who will tell Queenslanders one thing then do completely the opposite behind closed doors,” he said.

“This is a clear betrayal of our fishers by the Federal Minister who would prefer to bow down to the demands of UNESCO, instead of backing our own home-grown industries.”


Nick Dametto MP