Deloitte Access Economics has valued our most iconic heritage site, in a report commissioned by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
And it’s come in at a whopping 56 billion dollars.
Tourism is valued at 29 billion dollars, making it the biggest contributor. Aside from that, according to Deloitte’s report, the reef supports around 64,000 jobs adding a further 6.4 billion dollars to the economy.
Divers and boaters contribute 3 million dollars, while those Australians who have not yet visited the reef, make up 24 billion dollars.
That's more than 12 Sydney Opera Houses, or the cost of building Australia's new submarines. It's even more than four times the length of the Great Wall of China in $100 notes," the report states.
Despite its value, the reef is in trouble, with coral bleaching still being the biggest threat to the ecosystem. The report explains:
We have already lost around 50 per cent of the corals on the GBR in the last 30 years. Severe changes in the ocean will see a continued decline ahead of us.
Dr John Schubert AO, Chair of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation explains:
Today, our Reef is under threat like never before. Two consecutive years of global coral bleaching are unprecedented, while increasingly frequent extreme weather events and water quality issues continue to affect reef health.
If the reef dies, so too does the 56 Billion dollar industry that relies on it. The bleaching event and Cyclone Debbie’s horrific destruction earlier this year has already seen the decline of tourists visiting the reef, with figures down 50 percent along the Queensland Coast and the Whitsundays.
The Deloitte report comes just a week after the “Ocean Elders” wrote a letter to the Turnbull government urging him to take immediate action to block Adani’s construction of the Carmichael Coal Mine on Queensland’s coast (Read more about the “Ocean Elders” here).
Considering the net worth of the reef being at 56 Billion dollars, there needs to be greater thought about the construction of a mine, particularly as the reef has already been damaged due to heating water and climate change.
Video: Deloitte Access Economics
Header: Great Barrier Reef, Shutterstock
Information cited: Press Release James Cook University.