The Newman Government’s Queensland Ports Strategy, released last week, is an invitation to the World Heritage Committee to place the Great Barrier Reef on the list of World Heritage Sites ‘In Danger’, announced greensmps.org.au.
“We already have 20 ports on the Queensland coast where dredging will continue, and this strategy now allows expansion of five of those ports – this is atrocious news for the Great Barrier Reef,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.
“This strategy acts like an invitation to put the Great Barrier Reef on the World Heritage ‘In Danger’ list.
“The new faux restriction on dredging has so many loopholes it’s useless. It won’t apply to any of the damaging dredging already applied for which is the very dredging that UNESCO was concerned about.
“And the strategy mentions offshore dumping of dredged sludge just once, to say it will be up to the ports to manage.
“Dredge spoil doesn’t need to be dumped into the Reef at all – it’s only because it’s cheaper for the big mining companies than disposing on land that it’s happening.
“Moreover, the Gladstone Harbour inquiry showed that compliance with environmental conditions of port dredging and dumping was grossly inadequate.”
Press Release, June 9, 2014