Great Barrier Reef Faces Threat from Industrialisation

The Queensland Resources Council, in media stories, is selectively citing pre-existing problems in order to divert efforts from addressing the fastest growing new threat to the Great Barrier Reef – industrialisation, Australian Marine Conservation Society reported.

Felicity Wishart, Great Barrier Reef Campaign Director, said a new research paper did not consider proposed new and expanded ports.

“An Australian Institute of Marine Science study of river flows conducted over the past 10 years found high levels of sediment from agricultural run-off impacted directly on the Reef,” Ms Wishart said.

“But the Reef is facing a new imminent threat, from the planned construction of new or expanded ports, which will involve over 100 million tonnes of dredging and dumping, and increased shipping.

“The Reef is in a fragile state and the cumulative impacts of this industrial expansion will turn up the pressure on the Reef and the marine life that calls it home.

“These developments primarily benefit the mining sector and they undermine the health of the Reef.

“It’s unacceptable for the mining industry to try to blame the farmers for all sediment problems when their plans for over 100 million tonnes of dredging and dumping will also put huge amounts of fine sediments in the Reef’s waters.

“If there was adequate protection in place for the Reef, industry wouldn’t need a million dollar campaign to try to glaze over the public’s fears over dredging, dumping and port expansion.

“Industry wants the status quo to continue, where Australian governments favour the interests of the mining industry over stronger protection for the Reef.

“Government has been investing in the Reef Rescue program, working with farmers to reduce nutrient and sediment loads in Reef catchments, a program which conservationists called for a decade ago.

“The last thing we need is a study in another 10 years’ time revealing the Reef’s health is worse because we allowed industrial port expansion today,” Ms Wishart said.

Press release, May 30, 2014; Image: Wikimedia

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3rd International Congress Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging

Russia’s leading maritime industry Media Group PortNews (www.portnews.ru) holds a traditional annual Congress “Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging” in Moscow. 

The two-day Congress includes the 7th International Forum of Dredging Companies and the 3rd Technical Conference “Modern Solutions for Hydraulic Engineering”.

Infrastructure development is among the real sources of Russia’s economy growth. Construction of port facilities and new hydraulic engineering structures on the country’s inland waterways constitute an essential part of all infrastructure projects. It is important to take into account the best international practices to implement these projects effectively.

The program of the Congress will be devoted to the latest technologies for dredging and hydraulic engineering works. Speakers and delegates will refer to real projects to discuss specifics features of dredging works, as well as dedicated fleet and equipment involved.

To learn more about event, please, contact the organizing committee: snitko@portnews.ru

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