The Coalition has today squibbed a chance to protect the Reef by ruling out further development on Gladstone’s Curtis Island, by deferring the approval decision on Arrow’s LNG plant to just days before Christmas, say the Australian Greens.
“The Reef didn’t need another deferral from the government today – this threat of even further industralisation of the largest island within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area needed to be ruled out once and for all,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.
“No amount of extra information will change the fact that Arrow’s plans involve one million tonnes of dredging, will impact the dugong feeding areas and precious turtle nesting sites on the southern tip of World Heritage Curtis Island, and will send more mega-ships through the Reef like it’s a highway.
“Gladstone is already dealing with a sick harbour, a shattered fishing industry and dredge spoil being dumped in the Great Barrier Reef, it would be madness to allow more industrialisation.
“The Minister’s acknowledgement that he needs more time to consider the project proves the danger of his promise to big business that even the most environmentally destructive projects should have final decisions made within exceedingly short timeframes.
“I hope the Minister will now revisit this dangerous idea and lock in processes that mean big decisions are never made without adequate information about their impacts on our most precious species and places.
“The Greens will continue to stand up to the big mining companies to protect the Great Barrier Reef and the communities who love and rely on it,” Senator Waters said.
Press Release, October 23, 2013