The peak representative body for Queensland’s minerals and energy exporters has acknowledged the federal and state governments for taking determined and balanced steps towards reviving investment and community confidence in one of the nation’s economic pillars.
Welcoming release by the respective governments of strategic assessment reports into the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) Marine Park and adjoining coastal zones, Queensland Resources Council Acting Chief Executive Greg Lane said it was a ‘breath of fresh air’ to see governments working together for positive economic and environmental outcomes, on the basis of rigorous, methodical scientific evidence and practice.
‘We could be witnessing the reformation of ecologically sustainable development in Australia,’ he said.
‘It’s a concept that has underpinned environmental legislation in Australia for more than 20 years but has been gradually eroded by the corrosive power of political deal-making.’
Mr Lane said the QRC would now examine the reports in detail.
‘The GBR strategic assessment calls out the immediate threats to the Great Barrier Reef’s health that Australians can address – nutrient and sediment loads in the lagoon and crown of thorns starfish.’
Noting that cumulative impact assessments are cited as a potential benchmark for future development in the Great Barrier Reef region, Mr Lane said the proponents of the Abbot Point coal terminal expansion deserved congratulations for having already lifted the environmental protection bar voluntarily last year.
‘The 2012 Abbot Point expansion cumulative impact assessment is likely the first and easily the most comprehensive approach to the combined impacts of a single project,’ Mr Lane said.
‘Despite the deceitful efforts of global and local activist franchises to damage Australia’s environmental reputation, it is clear from initial reading of the assessment reports that science has won the day.
‘In light of these reports, others in progress and actions already under way to address genuine reef threats like nutrient loads and crown of thorns starfish, the resources sector will redouble its efforts to work with governments and the many genuine GBR users in addressing these real threats.
‘Indeed, the only people who will be disappointed with the focus on scientific analysis and response will be the Greens and fellow activists from Europe and the United States trying to close down Queensland’s leading export industries.’
Press Release, November 1, 2013