Greens: Port Approvals Should Be Put on Hold (Australia)

The Australian Greens today called for changes to prohibit people with coal and gas interests from sitting on the Great Barrier Reef’s management board, and backed calls for the Abbott Government to pause port approvals until the inquiry into conflicts of interest is completed.

“Big coal and gas should get their hands off the Reef, and off the Reef’s management board,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.

While we welcome Minister’s inquiry into these alarming allegations of conflict of interest, clearly our conflict of interest laws are not strong enough, or are being flouted, and they need to be changed. Anyone with coal and gas interests should simply be precluded from serving on the board of management for the Great Barrier Reef.

“Moreover, port approvals should be put on hold while this conflict of interest inquiry is undertaken, so there can be no taint of improper influence over decisions.

“Minister Hunt is at Abbot Point today where he is expected to make a decision on Gina Rinehart’s Kevin’s Corner mine, which would be a disaster for the climate and the Great Barrier Reef if approved.

“If the Abbott Government ticks off on this mega coal mine for Gina Rinehart, it will be granting de facto approval of the Abbot Point coal terminal expansion, which would see 3 million cubic metres of seabed dredged and dumped offshore, treating the Reef like a rubbish tip and shipping super highway for the big miners.

“With allegations that mining interests have significant weight on the GBRMPA Board, the Abbott Government cannot simply tick off on the mining magnates’ wishes to turn the Reef into a dumping ground for dredge spoil and a shipping super highway, without first getting to the bottom of these allegations undermining the independence of the statutory authority charged with protecting the Reef.

“It’s an international embarrassment that mining interests are allegedly influencing the GBRMPA board, while UNESCO is warning that the Great Barrier Reef could be added to the World Heritage list of sites in danger within a year,” Senator Waters said.

Press Release, October 30, 2013

 

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3rd International Congress Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging

Russia’s leading maritime industry Media Group PortNews (www.portnews.ru) holds a traditional annual Congress “Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging” in Moscow. 

The two-day Congress includes the 7th International Forum of Dredging Companies and the 3rd Technical Conference “Modern Solutions for Hydraulic Engineering”.

Infrastructure development is among the real sources of Russia’s economy growth. Construction of port facilities and new hydraulic engineering structures on the country’s inland waterways constitute an essential part of all infrastructure projects. It is important to take into account the best international practices to implement these projects effectively.

The program of the Congress will be devoted to the latest technologies for dredging and hydraulic engineering works. Speakers and delegates will refer to real projects to discuss specifics features of dredging works, as well as dedicated fleet and equipment involved.

To learn more about event, please, contact the organizing committee: snitko@portnews.ru

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