Greens: Dredge Sludge Needs Safe Disposal

Dredge Sludge Needs Safe Disposal

The Australian Greens welcome the Australian Marine Conservation Society report out today about the Caley Valley wetlands which the Newman Government’s proposal for disposal of the Abbot Point dredge sludge could threaten.

The Newman Government may have realised that the cheapest and dirtiest option of dumping dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef is not acceptable to Queenslanders, scientists or internationally,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.

But now they appear to have moved on the second cheapest and dirtiest option with a proposal that could threaten to dump dredge spoil either on or near the internationally significant Caley Valley wetlands.

“These stunning, rare wetlands are habitat to threatened migratory shorebird species and act as an important part of the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem by filtering water running into the Reef.

“The Abbot Point dredge sludge needs to be safely disposed further inland, where it won’t impact wetlands, and paid for in full by the big mining companies who will benefit, not by taxpayers as the Newman Government is proposing.

“Even with safe disposal, the Abbot Point project would still impact the Reef through dredging, a dramatic increase in shipping, and through the export of millions of tonnes of coal to exacerbate climate change.

“We should not be building the world’s largest coal port in the Great Barrier Reef in an age of global warming,” Senator Waters said.

Press Release, September 12, 2014