AMCS Concerned Over Great Barrier Reef (Australia)
The doubling of Xstrata’s coal production in Queensland will escalate the pressure on the Great Barrier Reef from port expansions, dredging and greater shipping movements, according to the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).
Great Barrier Reef Campaign Director, Felicity Wishart said the massive expansion in coal production and exports is placing the short-term profit of industry ahead of the long-term benefit of a $6 billion tourism industry that relies on the Reef.
“The Queensland government’s approval for Xstrata’s mining and transport of more than 9 million tonnes of coal is inconsistent with its assurances to UNESCO that it is doing everything possible to protect the Reef,” Ms Wishart said.
“It is inappropriate to allow an escalation of coal exports through Gladstone Harbour before the findings of the Independent Review of the port is completed and has provided a report on its management and environmental concerns. We need assurances that the mistakes of the past will not be repeated.
“Coal and coal seam gas developments are occurring too fast, over an expanding area and without proper oversight.
“In stark contrast, the attractions of our Great Barrier Reef contribute to a $6 billion tourism industry but that’s being put at risk by a State government intent on fast tracking port development and shipping through the Reef.
“Tourists visit the Great Barrier Reef coast for a unique natural experience, not for a view of mega-ports and thousands of coal ships ploughing through the Reef,” Ms Wishart said.
Press Release, March 15, 2013