As the campaign against the proposed Abbot Point dredging continues, the North Queensland Bulk Ports are often asked by members of the public to “keep putting out the facts”, said Brad Fish, NQBP CEO.
Here are some of the facts available through the government agency responsible for the management of the Great Barrier Reef – the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA):
• There are 47 stringent conditions in place, ensuring there will be no significant impact on the reef’s world heritage values;
• The dredging and disposal site is an area within the Marine Park that is about 25 kilometres east-northeast of the port at Abbot Point, and about 40 kilometres from the nearest offshore reef;
• When the dredge disposal occurs, the material will only be allowed to be placed in a defined four square km site free of hard corals, seagrass beds and other sensitive habitats;
• If oceanographic conditions such as tides, winds, waves and currents are likely to produce adverse impacts, the disposal will not be allowed to proceed;
• As an added precaution, the activity can only happen between March and June, as this falls outside the coral spawning and seagrass growth periods;
• NQBP will have a full-time staff member from GBRMPA located at the port to oversee and enforce compliance during dredge disposal operations. This supervisor has the power to stop, suspend or modify works to ensure conditions are met.
“At NQBP we believe all Australians care about the Reef and no one has a monopoly of concern about preserving this natural asset,” Fish said.
“Queensland port owners and managers feel privileged to work alongside the Great Barrier Reef. These owners and managers invest millions of dollars to protect the valuable and unique national asset that is the Great Barrier Reef while continuing to operate effective, efficient and environmentally responsible ports.”
Press Release, May 13, 2014