CAFNEC has welcomed the announcement that Federal Labor will formally ban the dumping of dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area if it is elected in 2016.
CAFNEC Marine Programs Coordinator and Marine Biologist Josh Coates said: “CAFNEC welcomes this announcement of sensible policy to protect our Great Barrier Reef and call on both the Queensland and Federal Governments to follow suit and move to address the outdated practice of dumping dredge spoil in the World Heritage Area.”
“With the release of the environmental impact statement for the Cairns port dredging proposal imminent we are asking the Government to reconsider this ill-conceived proposal.
“The science is clear that dumping on or near the reef is unacceptable and, given the environmental risk and cost to the taxpayer of onshore dumping and acid sulphate soil remediation, we are calling for the dumping of the port expansion project, not the toxic dredge spoil.
“The Cairns port expansion is not necessary as larger cruise boats already access ports including Cairns and Port Douglas via tender passenger transfer.
“There are better ways we can spend the millions of taxpayers dollars that would be required, to support far north business without putting the environment that supports our tourism and fishing industry at risk.”