The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has highlighted the impacts to fragile marine environments from dredged material being dumped on the Great Barrier Reef.
AMCS GBR Campaign Director Felicity Wishart said dredging three million tonnes of sea-floor and dumping it on the Reef would threaten feeding and breeding ground for vulnerable species.
“The public environment report released by the North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation yesterday confirms our worst fears, as it gives the green light to dumping dredged sea-floor in the Great Barrier Reef from the Abbott Point Project.
“We were concerned all along that those building the ports would simply dredge up large areas of seafloor and dump it in the Reef World Heritage Area.
“We’re clearing seafloor to make way for environment to make way for the biggest ports, shipping increases and dredging operations in Queensland’s coast.
“We agree with the report where it states that there will be ‘direct impacts to the marine environment’.
“We also agree with the Report where it admits to impacting on the values of the marine park, water quality and visibility.
“However we find the Port Corporation’s claims that ‘there’s no significant biodiversity’ in the 113sq km2 area they’re planning to remove or dump hard to fathom.
“Dredging is bad for diving as it makes the water very cloudy.
“Massive industrialisation affects the Reef and is bad for tourism because no one wants to come half way around the world to visit the world’s biggest coal port.
“And international fishing experience shows that if you destroy the areas species breed, you destroy the viability of a fishery.
“What will Queensland’s economy look like after the mining boom? Will it still be able to lay claim to its premier asset the Great Barrier Reef?
“The Queensland Government can not seriously claim to be acting in the best interests of Queensland’s economy when it freely allows the trashing of the Great Barrier Reef through rushed approval processes and damaging plans”, said Ms Wishart.
Press Release, January 07, 2013