Queensland’s minerals and energy sector has applauded yesterday’s announcement of a major state government campaign to promote the facts surrounding management and protection of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
“It is literally the time for a line to be drawn in the sand,” said Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche.
“Queensland’s reputation is being trashed by activists whose stated goal is to halt the growth of coal and gas exports from Queensland.
“The Great Barrier Reef is being used as a Trojan horse because of its World Heritage status.
“The anti-mining activists’ relentless demonisation of essential dredging at trading ports along the Queensland coast not only ignores scientific evidence but also threatens the future viability of resource sector industries supporting more than 400,000 Queensland jobs.
“What the anti-mining activists don’t mention is that the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park has from the start been a multi-use zone, with 11 commercial trading ports incorporated in the Great Barrier Reef’s World Heritage listing in 1981.
“Those 11 ports included the coal export ports of Abbot Point, Hay Point and Gladstone.”
Mr Roche said Queensland’s exports of minerals and energy are forecast to earn $35 billion in 2014, not including the scheduled start of liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments from Gladstone later this year.
“Three of Queensland’s economic pillars – resources, agriculture and tourism – have worked with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for almost 40 years with the goal of environmentally sustainable development.
“As a result, the Great Barrier Reef is the best managed World Heritage marine environment in the world.
“The reef has its challenges – spelled out in a 2012 report from the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the 2013 Reef Consensus Statement by 50 of the world’s leading marine scientists.
“These reports are consistent with all that have gone before. Port developments and shipping numbers have never been linked to coral loss or a decline in the environmental health of the Great Barrier Reef.
“These are the facts, and we are pleased to support the state government in promoting them on behalf of all Queenslanders, and particularly the 1.1 million who live and work alongside the Great Barrier Reef,” he said.
Press Release, March 3, 2014