The Greens have reported that the Newman Government’s Port Bill allows open slather for dredging, dumping and port expansion in four areas of the Great Barrier Reef and doesn’t stop any dredging in the Reef that has already been applied for.
“This bill acts like an invitation to the World Heritage Committee to put the Great Barrier Reef on the ‘In Danger’ list,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.
“Only Campbell Newman would introduce laws to expand dredging, dumping and port development in multiple parts of a World Heritage Area and claim he is protecting the Reef.
“Everywhere else in the Reef dredging can still go ahead too, if it has already been applied for, is maintenance dredging or happens after ten years.
“The bill ignores UNESCO concerns by allowing the proposal to dump 5 million cubic metres of dredge sludge offshore at Cairns as it has already been applied for.
“In areas like Gladstone Harbour the Reef has already suffered serious damage and now the Newman Government is piling on more threats without any safeguards.
“To pass this bill just months before the World Heritage Committee is due to decide whether to list the Reef as ‘In Danger’ is reckless in the extreme,” Senator Waters said.