APPEA Launches Campaign to Muddy Waters of Great Barrier Reef (Australia)
The Australian Marine Conservation Society has slammed a new multi-million dollar advertising campaign by the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association that will muddy the waters over the protection of special places like the Great Barrier Reef from massive industrialisation.
APPEA’s campaign attacks environmental safeguards and promotes fast tracking resource projects like those that have already caused the dumping of millions of tonnes of dredge material in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.
The strong push by the mining industry for government to cut environmental legislation comes a week after a poll showing the protection of the Reef is high on the election agenda for Queenslanders.
Felicity Wishart, Great Barrier Reef campaign director said more than 73% of Queenslander surveyed across nine federal electorates support a ban on dumping dredge waste in the Reef’s World Heritage Areas.
“The mining industry is trying to muddy the waters of the Great Barrier Reef and the debate around its protection,” Ms Wishart said.
“People support mining in Queensland, but they don’t want environmental regulation cut and they don’t want big mining companies to continue to receive special treatment.
“The vast majority [83%] of mining profits generated in the state are sent offshore, and overall mining directly employs less workers than the tourism industry in Queensland.
“When the short-term profits of mining are gone, local communities could be left with long-term damage to the Reef, waterways and other natural places.
“Earlier this year, a group of 150 marine scientists from 33 institutions released a declaration that warns of the threat of rapid industrialisation along the Reef.
“The scientists observed that the Reef was already in trouble and could not cope with further pressure from expanding port infrastructure and increased shipping in its waters.
“The interests of the mining industry are already given special treatment over local communities and the $6 billion tourism industry that relies on the Reef
“The special treatment afforded to these companies must end. What happens when the mining boom is over and we’re left without resources and with a ruined Reef?” Ms Wishart said.
Press Release, July 29, 2013