Australia Signs Disposal Ban

A century-old practice to drop dredge material in the Great Barrier Reef area has been put to an end.

Regulations to implement the Coalition’s historic ban on the disposal of capital dredge material in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park have been signed off by the Government.

This is another major milestone in strengthening our management of one of the world’s most priceless natural assets through greater legal protection,” said Greg Hunt M.P. “In finalizing the new regulations, the Government has taken into account more than 7000 submissions received as part of a thorough consultation process.”

According to Hunt, the ban applies to all past and present permits and future applications for capital dredge disposal.

There will be zero capital dredge disposal in the entire 344,400 square kilometer Marine Park – this covers 100 per cent of the area under Commonwealth legislative control and 99 per cent of the World Heritage Area.

This will be complemented by the Queensland Government’s commitment to also ban the practice in the remaining 3000 square kilometer area that includes port areas, and falls outside of the Marine Park under Commonwealth control.

Together, this means no capital dredge disposal can occur in any part of the World Heritage Area.

The ban on capital dredge disposal in the Marine Park follows the release of the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, which will help to directly address threats to the Great Barrier Reef.

The Reef 2050 Plan charts the way forward for investment in Reef protection, which will amount to more than $2 billion over the coming decade by the Australian and Queensland governments.