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Queensland passes new laws to protect threatened Great Barrier Reef

Staff Writer |
The Great Barrier Reef will be better protected from the effects of climate change and pollution under new laws passed by the Australian State government of Queensland on Wednesday.

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The laws target agricultural and other sources of runoff from industry in Queensland which decreases water quality and threatens the health of the world's largest reef.

State Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said that her state has a responsibility to all Australians and to the world to protect this living wonder.

"While we need national and global action to tackle climate change, water quality is something that we can tackle right here, right now," Enoch said.

"The Reef is the world's largest living wonder and worth an estimated 40 billion U.S. dollars, supporting more than 60,000 jobs. It is imperative that it is protected for our future generations," Enoch said.

The new laws focus on reducing run-off from agriculture and direct sources of pollution from other forms of land use, such as sewage treatment plants, aquaculture and mining.

"A range of stakeholders including farmers and conservation groups have been closely involved in consultation on the legislation for two years and I thank them for their collaboration," Enoch said.

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