Wildlife campaigner Bob Irwin has held a public meeting in Townsville to rally support against developments that threaten the Great Barrier Reef.

Mr Irwin as well as many environmental and conservation groups are concerned about an increase in industrialisation around the Reef, currently including port development and dredging of coastal waterways.

Townsville was chosen as the site due to its proximity and dependence on the reef as a source of income from tourism. Mr Irwin highlighted the need to preserve the natural wonder for the enjoyment of future generations.

After a recent inspection a UNESCO delegation declared the Reef a crisis situation, threatening to add it to the ‘World Heritage in Danger’ list. That decision has now been postponed following small progress in winding back planned industrial expansion.

Authorities will also undertake a Strategic Assessment to discern the best way to protect the World Heritage area.