Here's why we should care what UNESCO thinks about Reef

OPINION: Last Wednesday it was reported that the estimated 7000 workers required for the construction phase of the Adani coal mine would be 100% FIFO.

The mine, should it go ahead, will be situated west of Moranbah, out from Sarina.

The locals are apparently up in arms at the announcement, though I'm not sure what a realistic alternative would be for the Indian mining and power generation colossus, given there's no town nearby.

The closest are Moranbah and Clermont to the south-east.

Certainly their Carmichael coal mine would appear attractive to our Gladstone tradies willing to live in camps.

They would theoretically be in with just as big a chance as workers from Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and elsewhere, I'd expect.

The elephant in the room though, given the mining boom is over, is this.

UNESCO's World Heritage Committee will meet in Germany next month to decide whether the Great Barrier Reef is "in danger".

Lots of short-sighted people I have come across couldn't give a flying stuff.

After all, UNESCO has been hijacked by European greenies!

But we should care if for no other reason than at stake is the $5.5 billion the Reef generates in tourist dollars each year.

Even our slow-thinking politicians have cottoned on to the sort of damage an adverse finding would inflict.

According to a recent Senate estimates hearing, the government has reportedly spent $100,000 to date flying environmental department lobbyists to 21 countries trying to get them onside.

With the end of the mining boom and the fall in the dollar, tourism is expected to be the next big thing for Australia.

Wouldn't it be a disaster if our greatest natural treasure was declared to be "in danger" - read deteriorated as a spectacle sufficiently for tourists from all over the world to strike it from their bucket list?

As a snorkeller I have witnessed coral bleaching in Indonesia and Fiji. It ain't pretty!

A couple of things to follow up on last week's column.

Firstly, despite being in the game for 40 years I committed the cardinal sin of taking the Treasurer' Budget speech at face value and indicated that start-up businesses will be able to write off professional costs immediately.

Closer inspection of the Budget papers indicated that the concession applies from July 1 and that only the $20,000 asset write-off applies immediately.

Secondly, I had a number of enquiries as to whether the $20,000 includes GST. The answer is no if you are registered for GST, yes if you are not.

Bob Lamont and Corporate Accountants have moved to Goondoon Street, Gladstone. Bob can be contacted at

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