AMCS: Government Told to Focus on Fixing Reef (Australia)
The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has called on state and federal governments to stop quarrelling over the duelling scientific reviews of the impact of Gladstone Harbour and recognise what’s at stake.
Felicity Wishart, the Great Barrier Reef campaign director, said that if the Queensland and Australian Governments needed to stop quibbling and recognise that there’s the health of one of the natural wonders of the world and a $6billion dollar tourism industry.
“The tourism industry relies on a healthy reef. The purpose of the science review, demanded by the World Heritage Committee, is to get to the bottom of what causes the dramatic fish kills and determine the environmental impacts of massive dredging to support the mining industry.
“What we need to be looking at, is what exactly happens when you rip up millions of tonnes of seafloor and dump it in World Heritage Areas.
“The World Heritage Committee are very worried about what’s happening in Gladstone Harbour, and Australians should be too.
“Every community along the Reef who is awaiting more and more dredging to occur in their areas to support massive port development are watching this issue intently.
“If we don’t properly get to the bottom with a degree of certainty the extent of the problems caused by dredging we risk ruining sensitive areas right along the Reef’s coast.
“If you damage the coast, and you rip up seafloor mud and rock from the coast, the impacts on the Reef and it’s inhabitants are immense.
“The Queensland Government and the Federal Govenrment can argue for as long as they want about who’s science review is better, but it’s not going to fix anything.
“We have a problem here that requires immediate attention, not political posturing and point scoring between Canberra and Brisbane,” said Ms Wishart.
Press Release, February 19, 2013