Murdoch made the comment in a series of tweets.
— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) August 25, 2015
The comments quickly drew rebuke from environmental authorities, including Bill Snape, senior counsel to the Center for Biological Diversity, who told Common Dreams:
"Anything Rupert Murdoch says in this area, you have to remember you are talking about a man with no scientific training who is a rampant political ideologue. Anyone who takes him half-seriously is a fool."
Leanne Minshull, a climate and energy campaigner at Greenpeace International, told the Independent:
"The Great Barrier Reef is most certainly under threat and we look forward to advising Rupert Murdoch on his next visit to the optician."
Larissa Waters, deputy co-leader of Australia's Greens party, also called out Murdoch.
— Larissa Waters (@larissawaters) August 25, 2015
Murdoch's comments come amid controversy over Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's plans to abolish a section of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, which campaigners say would further threaten sites like the Great Barrier Reef.
Last month, the United Nations decided against listing the Great Barrier Reef as "in danger," but said it is still concerned about the threat of climate change, industrial port development and water pollution to the reef.