Labor is cheering after a member of the Morrison government called for the nation's coronavirus recovery plan to boost efforts to tackle climate change.
Special envoy for the Great Barrier Reef Warren Entsch has handed his latest report to the environment minister, spectacularly breaking ranks over its record on climate change.
"While we do great work on the reef and globally we are recognised as the best reef managers in the world, conversely Australia's record on climate change falls short of attaining similar levels of prestige," he said.
"While at present our reef remains a vibrant ecosystem, without sufficient global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - the reef's continued decline over the decades ahead is virtually inescapable."
Mr Entsch, a Queensland Liberal, says Australia's economic recovery from coronavirus cannot include a scaled-back response to climate change.
"If anything, it should be greater. We know unequivocally, that climate change is the single greatest threat to the long-term health and future of the Great Barrier Reef."
The federal government argues Australia's emissions make up a tiny slice of global levels, putting pressure on other countries to do more.
But Mr Entsch says Australia and other similar sized emitters make up 40 per cent of global emissions.
"If any one country in this cohort should seek to abdicate responsibility for their fair share, others may be inclined to do the same," he said.
The special envoy says everything should be on the table for Australia post pandemic.
"Whether it's overhauling taxation and fiscal federalism, a faster transition to renewables, reviewing the viability of fossil fuel subsidies, increasing support for low emissions industries and perhaps even reconsidering the nuclear moratorium - the list goes on."
Labor's environment spokeswoman Terri Butler says the Great Barrier Reef deserves serious advocates, protections and a long term plan.
"Not a Morrison government full of denialists and extreme right wingers jeopardising its future," she said.
"You can't be serious about protecting the Great Barrier Reef without having a serious climate change policy," opposition climate change spokesman Mark Butler said.
Australian Associated Press