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

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

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