Today’s release of the draft Queensland Ports Strategy confirms that the Queensland Government will continue to fast track industrial development on the Great Barrier Reef’s coastline, according to the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).
Felicity Wishart, AMCS’s Great Barrier Reef campaign director said the rapid, widespread and deeply damaging industrial development for the Reef’s coast would continue without any concerns being addressed.
“The Queensland Government has today indicated they are not concerned with protecting the Great Barrier Reef from massive industrial developments.
“The proposed Ports Strategy means more dredging – millions of tonnes will be torn up from the seafloor and dumped in the Reef’s waters.
“This proposal means thousands more coal ships will pass through the Reef every year.
“This draft Strategy is further evidence that the Queensland Government does not care what the World Heritage Committee thinks as this will put the Reef under great danger.
“This is not a strategy to look after an asset that provides $6 billion to the Queensland economy, every year, and 63,000 jobs in tourism.
“This proposed strategy would be a disaster for fishers, tourism operators and all people around the world who love the Reef.
“Scientists have expressed extreme concerns, the World Heritage Committee has expressed extreme concerns and tourism operators are deeply troubled by their future on the Reef.
“No one is going to come from around the world to see the world’s biggest coal ports.
“Economic modelling shows that many of the ports will not even be fully utilised. There’s very little economic sense in this race to destroy the Reef.
“We are yet to see whether the federal government will approve millions of cubic metres of dredging less than 50kms from the Whitsundays.
“If Australians want a Great Barrier Reef, they’re going to have to fight for it.
“The Queensland government can’t be relied upon to look after this international icon.
“We are deeply troubled by the damage that will be done up and down the coast from this proposed strategy, to the coral, the water quality, the estuaries and the entire ecosystems that sustain this wonder of the world”, said Ms Wishart.
Press Release, October 17, 2013