The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) yesterday welcomed acknowledgment from Federal MP for Dawson, Mr George Christensen, that he ‘had it wrong’ about dumping dredge spoil from the Abbot Point port expansion.
“It is highly commendable to see any politician publicly change their stance like this,” said AMCS Great Barrier Reef Campaign Director Felicity Wishart.
Mr Christensen took out an advertisement in the Whitsunday Coast Guardian to announce his change of stance on the issue, acknowledging the risk of dredge spoil dumping at sea and that land based options are needed.
“It is clear that dumping dredge spoil in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef is unacceptable. The fine sediments can travel over 100 kilometers, making the water cloudy, smothering seagrass and causing coral disease. What is worrying is that there are still millions of tonnes of other dredging proposals with plans to dump in the Reef’s waters.We now need to see the State and Federal Governments adopt a ban on dumping of dredge spoil throughout the Reef World Heritage Area to protect the inshore reefs. Of course any land based disposal options would need to be environmentally acceptable and included in the cost of the development” said Ms Wishart.
Cherry Muddle, AMCS Reef campaigner based in the Whitsundays said that this is a big victory for the local tourism operators and the Whitsunday residents who have stood up and raised their voices about the risk of dumping in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.
Press Release, August 27, 2014