The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has rejected as out of touch with community expectations, claims by Michael Roche of the Queensland Resources Council about the efforts of conservation groups to stop the mining industry from industrialising the coastline of the Great Barrier Reef.
Felicity Wishart, the AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaign director, said: “The attack by the QRC on conservation groups who were legitimately acting on behalf of their members to protect the Great Barrier Reef from industrial port expansion, was a case of playing the man and not the ball.
“Backed by the community, groups such as the AMCS have been fighting to protect the Reef for decades from a whole range of threats including mining and now port expansions. The community backs us to do with donations and thousands of volunteer hours.
“The mining industry wants to expand ports in Gladstone, the Fitzroy Delta, Mackay, Abbot Point, Townsville and on Cape York Peninsula. To do so will require over one hundred million tonnes of dredging and dumping in the Reef’s waters.
“Dredging and dumping muddies the Reef’s waters, threatening seagrass, vital for dugongs and turtles, and coral reefs.
“The Queensland Resources Council is being irresponsible when it supports dredging millions of tonnes of seabed and dumping it in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park,” she said.
Press Release, March 19, 2014