The Australian Greens said that their strong campaign standing with the community against dredge spoil dumping in the Great Barrier Reef has resulted in the Newman Government finally considering onshore disposal of the Abbot Point dredge spoil.
“The immense community, scientific and international opposition to Reef dumping, as well as our strong political opposition, is finally sinking in for the Newman Government,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.
“The Greens are proud of our strong campaign standing with the community, the fishing industry and the tourism industry against our Reef being treated as a dump ground for dredge spoil.
“But the fight for the Reef is far from over – we need a legislated ban on dumping for the whole Great Barrier Reef not just Premier Newman’s weak statement of a “preference” for land dumping “if a site is available”.
“And at Abbot Point, the fight for the Reef continues even if there is onshore disposal of dredge spoil, because building the world’s largest coal port in the Great Barrier Reef still impacts the Reef through dredging, shipping and export of fossil fuels to exacerbate climate change.
“Although onshore disposal of the dredge spoil is preferable to dumping it in the Reef, the onshore disposal must be environmentally safe and we will be looking closely at the details of the proposal and its environmental impacts as they emerge.
“We need a permanent and immediate ban on all new Reef dumping and the old parties should support my bill to do this currently in the federal parliament as part of saving the Reef from being added to the list of World Heritage sites in Danger,” Senator Waters said.