The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier ReefWorld Wildlife Fund

Australia has been put 'on notice' by the World Heritage Committee for jeopardising the Great Barrier Reef by not implementing their recommendations to preserve the global treasure.

The Australian Marine Conservation Society and WWF-Australia have warned the government about the rapid industrialisation at the north-east ports surrounding the coral reef.

"Australian governments now have a firm deadline of June 2014 for action to avoid the global icon being placed on an international list of shame. This will be a crucial 12 months for ensuring the future of our reef and the AU$6 billion tourism industry that relies on it," WWF- Australia's Richard Leck said.

After the  ommittee's decision during its annual meet to not include the reef in its 'danger list' there have been strong concerns from scientists, fishers, local communities and people around the world for the Reef.

"The World Heritage Committee was explicit that the most precious pristine areas of the reef including Keppel Bay, north Curtis Island and the northern section of the reef need to be protected," said Leck.

"The government had made some progress on water quality and farm runoff but that these gains could be overshadowed by millions of tonnes of dredging and dumping for planned mega-port development along the coast,"  Felicity Wishart, Great Barrier Reef Campaign Director, said in a press release.

Even the major political parties of the country were blamed as well. They refused to amend the environment laws laid before the Australian Senate on Monday.

"We need both major political parties to recognise just how serious the threat to the reef is. Australian scientists and the Committee is concerned. Yesterday millions of people tweeted their concerns," Wishart stressed.

WWF started the campaign of #Fightforthereef on Twitter this year on World Ocean Day to bring awareness among the public about the degrading condition of the reef.

"Yet the Queensland Government continues to fast track large-scale port developments on the Reef and the Australian Government is failing to stop them," Wishart said.

The committee forbids any more port development or dredging and dumping until a plan to protect the reef is in place.

"We will continue this campaign to protect the reef from unacceptable industrialisation" concluded Wishart.

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