A WWF reef campaigner says sugarcane farming is to blame for much of the pollution of the Great Barrier Reef.
A WWF reef campaigner says sugarcane farming is to blame for much of the pollution of the Great Barrier Reef.

Sugar farmers ‘major culprits’ in reef pollution

SUGARCANE farmers have been blamed for being the "major culprits" of farm pollution that has ended up on the reef.

"They are using frankly far too much fertiliser than what is required to grow the crops," WWF reef campaigner Louise Matthiesson said.

At a Great Barrier Reef lecture in Brisbane, she said excess fertiliser washed into rivers that flowed onto the reef.

"When you pump that much fertiliser onto the reef you get a hell of a lot of water pollution, it feeds the growth of crown of thorns outbreaks and algae that smothers coral."

The day before Ms Matthiesson addressed a room full of people at Queensland University of Technology, a scathing report was tabled in Queensland Parliament about the state's plan to tackle poor water quality in reef catchments.

READ MORE

Dredging, not dumping, should be main focus: scientist

Climate change is killing coral: reef scientist

WWF: Where is the funding for the Great Barrier Reef?

Galilee Basin could be one of world's highest emitters

In the water quality report, the Auditor-General found land management practice programs were not achieving the changes needed.

It also said recent relaxation of land clearing rules increased the risk of sediment runoff, working against the reef plan's goals.

"What the Auditor-General is saying is that it's not going to work if we just keep doing things the way we have been," Ms Matthiesson said.

"We need a radically different approach."

She said regulations and a pollution cap should be put in place.



’GUT-WRENCHING’: Remains found from missing Bruno

premium_icon ’GUT-WRENCHING’: Remains found from missing Bruno

ALMOST a year since American Bulldog Bruno went missing the owners have been...

21 North Burnett school leavers with huge future

premium_icon 21 North Burnett school leavers with huge future

We speak to Monto and Eidsvold’s graduating class of 2019 about their plans for the...

‘Almost apocalyptic’: Video from local stuck at Kinkuna

premium_icon ‘Almost apocalyptic’: Video from local stuck at Kinkuna

Mike Dean is stuck on the ground at Kinkuna Waters Estate after making the decision...