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Last updated at 16:26 GMT, Tuesday, 06 March 2012

Great Barrier Reef under threat

Summary

8 March 2012

A research group has arrived in Australia to investigate concerns of damage to the Great Barrier Reef. Environmentalists are demanding that all industrial development is stopped until a government check is completed.

Reporter
Phil Mercer

A stingray in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

A stingray enjoying the Great Barrier Reef

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Report

The UNESCO delegation will investigate concerns that the mining industry is damaging the Great Barrier Reef. The exploitation of oil and gas is driving industrial expansion along much of the northern Queensland coast, including plans for the world's biggest coal port near the town of Bowen.


The Australian government has imposed strict guidelines to protect marine life and ensure water quality.


But environmentalists want the authorities to suspend all new developments while an official review of the health of the Great Barrier Reef is carried out.

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Vocabulary

delegation

people sent to act as representatives

mining

process of digging into the ground

expansion

the process of spreading out

coal

black rock used for energy

imposed

put into place

marine

relating to the sea

ensure

make certain

suspend

stop for a short time

review

report into something

carried out

made to happen

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