Government buries good news “like a dog with a bone”

Sometimes my terrier buries his bones in the backyard so he can feast on them later.

Apparently, dogs will bury anything valuable – not just treats.

They simply want to save these special things in a safe place so they can enjoy them later.

While Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek is not a dog (by any stretch of the imagination), recently she did bury something extremely valuable.

A new report on the health of the Great Barrier Reef has revealed good news – but hardly anybody has been told about it.

According to the latest Summer Snapshot report from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), coral was at record levels in the northern and central parts of the Great Barrier Reef just prior to the 2022/23 summer.

The Snapshot was quietly published online, without a media release from GBRMPA, or commentary from Plibersek or the government’s “Special Envoy for the Reef” Senator Nita Green, and neither responded to requests for comment when contacted by an eagle-eyed journalist who spotted the story.

It begs the question, why?

At AgForce we have long questioned whether the Reef really is in danger or if there are other motivations behind the government’s “save our coral” cries.

This latest “burying the bone” behaviour sets off alarm bells – not least because it’s an attempt to hide a good news story that shines a light on the fantastic work of our farmers who look after the Reef so diligently, but also because it suggests that the government is siding with scaremongering activists who devote their lives to painting a false picture that the agriculture industry is killing coral.

It’s time to look at the facts – the Reef is more alive than ever before, water quality is improving, and outlandish claims that coral is being destroyed by runoff from agricultural pesticides are simply not true.

If Minister Plibersek and Co choose to hide that, then shame on them.

I, for one will shout it from the rooftops.

/Public Release. View in full here.