Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney’s comments that dumping on the wetlands at Abbot Point is a win-win for the environment and the economy demonstrate the disregard the Queensland government has for the Great Barrier Reef, according to the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).
Felicity Wishart, the AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaign director said that calling plans to dredge 3 million m³ of seabed and dump it on wetlands, the Reef’s natural filter and home to 40,000 water birds a ‘win for the environment’ was ridiculous.
“The Queensland Government hasn’t even released the details of the new dumping plan, and yet is suggesting the Federal Environment Minister can provide a tick and flick approval by Christmas,” said Wishart.
“This is another example of the Queensland government putting the interests of mining companies like Adani and GVK Hancock ahead of the Reef, a $6 billion tourism asset that employs 63,000 people.”
“Ports along the Great Barrier Reef are only operating at 60% capacity. We don’t need new or expanded ports because the mining boom has ‘busted’.”
“Damaging port expansions won’t benefit Queensland’s economy. This government seems more interested in supporting foreign mining interests than securing the future health of the Reef.”
“The mining boom has created some well-paid jobs but not nearly as much as promised. Most Queenslanders did not see the benefits because they went to overseas investors who own 83% of our mining industry.”
“And now countries like China are moving away from wanting Queensland’s thermal coal because of major air pollution problems in their big cities.”
“It’s time the Deputy Premier stopped risking the Reef for damaging port expansions that may never be needed,” said Ms Wishart.
Press Release, September 19, 2014