The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has welcomed a decision made by the Australian Labor Party to end taxpayer funding support for the Adani coal mine and port project that will require dredging in the Great Barrier Reef waters and dumping in its precious wetlands.
Felicity Wishart, AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaign director said that the decision was most welcome and would end a reckless decision by the state government to become a funder of last resort for a project that would cause environmental damage to the Great Barrier Reef and return few economic benefits.
“The state government is fast tracking a plan for 3 million tonnes of dredging and dumping for the Abbot Point port expansion for a coal mine that hasn’t been built yet. It has promised around $300 million in handouts to the Indian coal giant Adani, for rail infrastructure to Abbot Point, right through the internationally significant Caley Valley Wetlands on the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef,” said Wishart.
“It will put at risk the Reef’s tourism industry, which is worth $6 billion and supports 69,000 jobs because people don’t want to come from around the world to see coal ports, dredged waters and massive ships. The World Heritage Committee has expressed concern about this port expansion and the world’s biggest international finance houses are saying this project is just too risky,” added Wishart.
“Even the mining industry is saying this special treatment will cost jobs in their industry. Subsidising damage to the Reef with taxpayers funds is not a strong choice; it’s a reckless approach that will damage Queensland’s most precious natural asset,” said Wishart.