The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has welcomed a decision by the Queensland Labor Party for stronger protection for the Great Barrier Reef and its wetlands.
At the launch of Labor’s Queensland Election campaign today, leader Annastacia Palaszczuk promised:
– Not to dump dredge spoil on the Caley Valley wetlands near Abbot Point;
– Not to allow port expansions in the stunning Fitzroy Delta and Keppel Bay;
– No taxpayer funds for a new rail line from Galilee Basin coal mines to coal ports along the Reef coast;
– To repeal damaging new water laws which will have a detrimental effect on the Reef;
– No dredging operations at Abbot Point before its planned mine is proven financially viable;
– Reinstatement of laws that protect bushland in Reef catchments;
– Action to reduce shipping risks in the Reef’s waters.
These promises are in addition to the previously announced commitment to ban dumping in the World Heritage Area of the Reef and funding of $100 million for water quality.
Felicity Wishart, AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaign director, said the policy announcement from Labor today was a potential game changer for the future of the Reef.
“The Reef protection measures announced by the Labor leader today would go a long way to end reckless decisions to fast-track environmental damage to the Reef, including the insult of using public funds to help hasten its demise,” Ms Wishart said today.
“AMCS does not support land reclamation in the Reef’s waters and remains of the view that the current port expansion at Abbot Point is not needed.
“The next Queensland Government is responsible for protecting this globally significant tourism icon but recent governments have been reluctant to take sufficient action needed for a healthy Reef.
“AMCS urges the LNP to match or exceed these stronger measures to safeguard the Reef. They have the opportunity to end business as usual and establish a new era of bipartisan support to put the Reef first and ensure its future,” she said.