We will not kow-tow to China on the Reef

Nick Dametto, Member for Hinchinbrook has called for Australia to leave the UN after reports in The Australian newspaper that the China chaired UN committee has declared the Great Barrier Reef as ‘in danger’.

“Why does Australia continue to kow-tow to an organisation based on the other side of the world?

“We live on the reef, we know the state of the reef. It is not dying, it is not ‘in danger’”, said Mr Dametto.

The World Heritage Committee has made the ‘in danger’ declaration from desktop studies and without proper consultation; in what is being interpreted as economic punishment by China to Australia on calling out increasing Chinese influence.

“We in North Queensland are sick of people who do not live here, whether it be the Brisbane based Government or the France based UNESCO, telling us what to do.

“Enough, is enough.  It is time to leave the UN.  China is clearly the puppet master for UNESCO.

“Classifying the reef as ‘in danger’ will only mean more regulation for our fishing operators, tourism businesses and our farmers.  More regulation means more cost to these small businesses.  We are sick and tired of the green tape,” said Mr Dametto.

Mr Dametto’s electorate of Hinchinbrook runs along the Great Barrier Reef from Townsville to Cardwell and the economy is heavily dominated by small businesses who operate on the reef and agriculture.

Prior to State politics Mr Dametto grew up on the family cane farm, worked on the family banana farm and went on to own a reef-based tourism business, ‘Townsville Watersports’.  Mr Dametto’s father also owned a dive boat and game fishing boat that operated on the reef.

“Fundamentally, agriculture, fishing and tourism do not need to be demonised.  Reef based businesses and the reef should not be treated as mutually exclusive.

Mr Dametto introduced into the Queensland Parliament the Environmental and Other Legislation (Reversal of Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) Amendment Bill 2021.

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto in his former life as owner of ‘Townsville Water sports’, which took guided jet ski tours on the Great Barrier Reef.

The Bill sets out to repeal the ALP Government’s 2019 legislation which demonises farmers and regulates the agricultural industry into oblivion.

Nick Dametto MP