Australia: Greens Challenge Government Over Great Barrier Reef Plan
Australian Greens environment spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters will challenge the Government today in Question Time on their plans to make profits from the dumping of dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
“The Australian Government has responsibility for protecting our World Heritage Great Barrier Reef, but instead is trying to turn a buck from turning it into rubbish dump,” Senator Waters said.
“At a time when Australia has been embarrassed on the world stage by UNESCO expressing extreme concerns about the Government’s plans to turn the Reef into a coal and gas super-highway, there are plans to dump more than 24 million cubic metres of dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
“With more than 112 million cubic metres of dredging on the books for the Reef – more than 65 Melbourne Cricket Grounds – Australia could soon join countries such as Yemen, the Congo and Afghanistan in having the United Nations declare our precious World Heritage icon ‘in danger’.
“Australians deserve to know if the Government has even informed UNESCO of its pay for dumping plans for the Great Barrier Reef, and the risks from a more than three-fold increase of shipping movements from coal and coal seam gas ports.
“This is yet more damning evidence that we need UNESCO to investigate what the Australian Government is doing to the Great Barrier Reef, before we have the dubious honour of owning the world’s largest marine rubbish dump.”
Dredging Today Staff, March 1, 2012; Image: westernbasinportdevelopment