QRC: Bank’s Reef Concerns Based on UNESCO Misunderstanding (Australia)

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Bank’s Reef Concerns Based on UNESCO Misunderstanding

Activists kicked an own goal today on their European vacation by lobbying a German bank that is not funding Queensland’s Abbot Point port expansion and claiming it as a victory for environmentalists, said Queensland Resources Council.

After intense lobbying from anti-coal activists, Deutsche Bank, announced that until a consensus was reached between the Australian Government and UNESCO, it would not consider such applications.

The bank’s precondition for considering funding of such a project is expected to be satisfied following next month’s annual meeting of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee.

Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche said that, based on its statement, it does not appear that Deutsche Bank has had any involvement with the planned port expansion.

“Nevertheless, their requirement of an assurance from both the Australian Government and UNESCO about protecting the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the Great Barrier Reef can be readily met,” Mr Roche said.

It is simply unfortunate that advisers to the World Heritage Committee have overlooked or misunderstood that their requested comprehensive assessments of dredging options have already been done and have established that there will not be an impact on the Reef’s OUV.

“In the lead-up to the committee’s meeting in June, the Australian and Queensland Government will ensure that all interested parties are fully briefed on this assessment work.

“While the Committee’s draft decision clearly recognises the excellent work by State and Federal Government to protect and preserve the iconic Reef – it would appear that the WHC’s advisers had not fully appreciated the extent of the peer reviewed science which has examined cumulative impacts of planned port development at Abbot Point.”

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Press Release, May 23, 2014

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