The Newman Government’s expanded mine water strategy, announced today, will see more mining waste water flow into Queensland’s rivers and the Great Barrier Reef, say the Australian Greens.
“This is Campbell Newman putting our waterways at risk to save the big mining companies a few dollars,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.
“The government should require safer and more sustainable disposal alternatives, such as reverse osmosis to purify the waste water of salt and heavy metals.
“We also need renewed scrutiny of flood-event preparedness before new mines are approved, especially as we can only expect more extreme weather events as climate change intensifies.
“Relying on the ‘dilution is the solution to pollution’ mentality by allowing waste water, laden with salt and heavy metals, to flow into our waterways, obviously threatens the water quality of our rivers.
“With many of our rivers flowing into the Great Barrier Reef, the Newman Government is also jeopardising water quality of this World Heritage Area.
“The Newman Government continues to ignore UNESCO’s warning that the Reef could be added to the list of World Heritage sites in danger within a year because it’s being overrun by development.
“Campbell Newman seems intent on letting the big mining companies use the Reef as a dumping ground for waste water and dredge spoil and a shipping super highway
“This is the latest environmental attack from Premier Newman, who has already gutted state protection for coastal areas, wild rivers and native vegetation.
“Despite this clear agenda of environmental destruction, Tony Abbott is set on handing over federal environment protection powers to Campbell Newman, which the Greens will stand strongly against in federal Parliament,” Senator Waters said.
Press Release, October 31, 2013