A LEGAL PERSONALITY FOR THE GREAT BARRIER REEF
ISN'T IT TIME?
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Isn't it time for the Great Barrier Reef to be freed to defend itself?
Click here to download Infographic #1 (Australia Dreaming) which provides a visual representation of the need for the granting of legal personality to the Great Barrier Reef.
Click here to download Infographic #2 (Australia Planning), which contains information about the Queensland Government's current plans vis-a-vis the continued industrialisation of the Northern Queensland coastline, and graphic portrayals of the enormous geographic extent of port limits along the Great Barrier Reef coastline.
Please note: This infographic is graphic-rich and 1.5MB in size. Please allow a moment for download to complete. If you require a higher resolution version (15MB), please contact us.
EDO NQ intends focusing on a novel approach to protection of the Great Barrier Reef - working towards obtaining recognition of legal personality for the reef itself, so that the Great Barrier Reef can act on its own behalf to protect its integrity now and into the future.
The law currently grants inanimate constructs, such as Corporations, legal personality. They are not living things, and yet they can defend their interests, and seek justice in the courts. They are granted these rights, even though one of the principal objectives of a corporation is to make a profit for its shareholders - not to preserve the integrity of living ecosystems so that people, the economy, and nature itself can enjoy greater resilience and live in harmony.
It is not such a big step to alter people's attitudes so that a living thing can also be granted legal personality, and have the right to defend itself - particularly given the increasing threat to the world from climate change, pollution and inappropriate development.
In fact, in New Zealand, there is an increasing surge of support for such an approach, and the New Zealand government has agreed to grant the Whanganui River (for example) legal personality. Trustees will act on the river's behalf, protecting it from harm. The river will have rights, and will be able to sue the Government of New Zealand, or others who might take action to harm it.
We believe that the Great Barrier Reef should also be granted inherent rights to protect itself through the granting of legal personality.
For this reason, and in anticipation of a further deterioration in the level of protective management afforded the reef, EDO NQ has been undertaking legal research along these lines for the past several months.
The appalling decision by GBRMPA on 31 January 2014, permitting the dumping of millions of tonnes of dredge spoil within the boundaries of the Marine Park, has emphasised the urgency of this work. It is now time to launch a campaign with the objective of securing legal personality for the Great Barrier Reef itself.