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WWF has always called for a ban in the entire World Heritage Site," WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O'Gorman said. "The marine park ban is a welcome step toward protecting the reef from damaging dredge spoil, but the proposed ban does nothing to include 3,600 square kilometres including port exclusion areas."

Eighty percent of recent dumping has occurred just outside the marine park, which means that dredge plumes can easily drift into these protected waters. A WWF analysis released last month found that dredging and dumping can have "devastating impacts" on the marine environment.

"The Queensland state government has an election commitment to ban dumping in the entire World Heritage Site," said O'Gorman. "The strongest level of protection for the reef would be provided by a World Heritage Site ban introduced by both levels of government. That's why we reaffirm our call for a federal dumping ban over the entire World Heritage Site."

"It's crucial that the federal and Queensland government bans are enacted before the World Heritage Committee meets in June to consider declaring the reef as World Heritage in danger," he said.

Ends.

CONTACTS

UK:
Rebecca Pain, rpain@wwf.org.uk, +44 1483 412303

Switzerland:
Alona Rivord, arivord@wwfint.org, +41 79 959 1963

Australia:
Mark Symons, msymons@wwf.org.au, +61 400 985 571

Images of the Great Barrier Reef for media use are available here: https://photos.panda.org/gpn/external?albumId=4625

Additional resources are available at http://wwf.panda.org/reef.

ABOUT WWF

WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

Follow us @WWF_media and the campaign with #SOSReef.
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