The effects of run-off have been chronic and doubled in quantity since the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) was established 30 years ago. One wonders what they have done towards this issue with the billion dollars they have spent of our taxpayers’ money.
The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) is now getting a handle on scientific proof that this is - and has been - happening but divers have been talking about the problem since the 1950s.
The late Sam Leonardi talked of how the Mossman River filled with sand when they cleared the local lands for cane in the 1920s - where did all the fine silts go? Now the runoff from these lands carries all soluble and light materials (silt) from the farms out onto the reef.
I have been at meetings where this was being discussed. “It is all the cane farmers fault,” they were saying as they sipped their cans of Coca Cola (each containing eight teaspoons of sugar).
GBRMPA has got it wrong big time - they concentrated on the easy targets
- tourism (sucking enormous amounts of funds in from the reef tax), researchers and education. Meanwhile, since GBRMPA was established, the two primary factors they needed to address - runoff and total fish catch have doubled.