The Guardian reports: A new report has valued the Great Barrier Reef at A$56bn and warns of vast economic consequences for Australia unless more is done to protect it.
The Deloitte Access Economics report says the world heritage-listed reef underpins 64,000 direct and indirect jobs, and contributes $6.4bn to the national economy each year.
But without ramped-up protection efforts, it warns much of that could be at risk as the reef suffers from repeated mass coral bleaching events, poor water quality and climate change.
“The reef is critical to supporting economic activity and jobs in Australia,” says the report, prepared for the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. “The livelihoods and businesses it supports across Australia far exceeds the numbers supported by many industries we would consider too big to fail.”
Of the 64,000 jobs linked to the reef, 39,000 are direct jobs – making the reef a bigger “employer” than the likes of Telstra, the Qantas Group, National Australia Bank and the oil and gas extraction industry. [Continue reading…]