According to Townsville’s Dr Walter Starck (a coral reef specialist with more than 40 years of self funded Great Barrier Reef research behind him) there is no evidence the reef is in danger of anything. He told the North Queensland Register that in the 1990s the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority commissioned the “Williams Report” that reviewed all the research on water quality and it concluded the reef was in ‘pristine condition’ and since then farming practices have improved. “The Great Barrier Reef is under water, remote and mostly inaccessible, so politicians can claim anything they like, but they’ve never been able to produce any evidence of agriculture damaging the reef, it’s all theoretical,” he said. The precautionary theory reigns - ‘there may not be a problem at the moment but if we don’t do something the reef will die,’ its called ‘political cheap shots’ the greatest publicity for the least cost.
Dr Starck points out the nutrient and sediment levels in water coming out of rainforests contain much higher levels of soil and nitrates than from farming land, so farmers should be being paid for their water purification activities.
More at Jennifer Marohasy.