The Queensland environment minister will hold face-to-face meetings with World Heritage Committee members about the future of the Great Barrier Reef.
Queensland’s environment minister hopes face-to-face meetings with World Heritage Committee figures will convince them the Great Barrier Reef is in safe hands.
Andrew Powell flew out on Wednesday to spend several days in Germany, France and the UK, and will be joined by his federal counterpart Greg Hunt.
Their visit comes after the release of a joint Queensland and federal government strategy on Monday, which details more than 100 measures to protect the reef over 35 years.
UNESCO is considering listing the national icon as a World Heritage site in danger and has demanded Australia devise a long-term plan to ensure its survival.
Australia has been given until February 2015 to show it has acted.
Mr Powell will also meet “interested parties such as environment ministers and secretaries and financial institutions”, a spokeswoman says.
The newly released strategy does not rule out controversial dredge spoil dumping in and around the reef.
The Queensland government has endorsed a plan to dispose of the material, which would be associated with the Abbot Point coal port near Bowen, on land rather than at sea.
Mr Hunt’s office says he is still waiting to receive the proposal.
The Australian Greens dismissed the “secret lobbying trip” as a waste of time.
Greens Senator Larissa Waters said the governments should instead follow the recommendations of the World Heritage Committee.
“Nobody wants the reef to end up on the ‘in danger’ list, which would be a disaster for the tourism industry,” Senator Waters said.
She labelled the plan to dispose of dredge material on shore as “the second cheapest and dirtiest option”.
Deputy Queensland Premier Jeff Seeney will outline further details about the dredge disposal plan at a public meeting in Bowen, north Queensland, on Wednesday afternoon.