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Great Barrier Reef assessment still a long way off

A STRATEGIC assessment of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, aimed at ensuring it remains protected from the cumulative impacts of port developments, is unlikely to be completed before the end of 2013.

The assessment, part of the Federal Government's reaction to concerns about coal and LNG development approvals in the world heritage area, was raised in a Senate estimates hearing on Tuesday.

A senior Environment Department bureaucrat admitted on Tuesday that the assessment was unlikely to be completed until the end of 2013.

The assessment was started in early 2012, and was expected to be completed within 18 months to two years.

Evidence showed the project was unlikely to be completed until the two-year mark, and possibly longer, if any delays were caused by the Queensland Government or the marine park authority in submissions to the assessment process.



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