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Australia's world-famous Great Barrier Reef has been assigned a monetary value the first time. The financial advising company Deloitte Access Economics has outlined the worth one nature's most spectacular wonders. Deloitte's report puts a value US$42.5 billion the reef, and a worth US$4.9 billion a year to the Australian economy. It also supports 64,000 full-time jobs the tourism, fishing, recreation and scientific research industries. This is three times more than those employed Australia's national airline Qantas. The report says: "The livelihoods and businesses the reef supports Australia far exceeds the numbers supported many industries we would consider too big to fail."

Deloitte says quantifying the World Heritage-listed reef's worth is one attempt conserving it future generations. People will look the reef better if they know how valuable it is. Deloitte said the reef is worth "more than 12 Sydney Opera Houses". However, the reef and its 1,700 fish species are danger. Global warming is bleaching and killing the reef's coral. A local businessman said it was "astounding" that a value was put the reef. He said: "Why earth do we quantify it terms money? We have a social conscience to look the Great Barrier Reef…. It's our doorstep and we should be looking it." He added: "If that motivates our politicians...then that is good."

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