Following the release of the World Heritage Committee’s draft decision to keep the Great Barrier Reef on the ‘In Danger’ watch list, The Greens say the Abbott and Palaszczuk governments ‘must abandon their plan to turn the Reef into a coal and LNG super highway’.
‘UNESCO is keeping the Reef on the watch list and has given Australia 18 months to report progress,’ Queensland Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens deputy leader, said.
‘All of the Abbott and Palaszczuk governments’ lobbying could not hide that their plan is to turn the Reef into a highway for climate-destroying coal.
‘UNESCO noted with concern the conclusions of the government’s own scientific Outlook Report 2014 that climate change is the biggest threat to the Reef.
‘Instead of lobbying and spin, the Abbott and Palaszczuk governments need to finally listen to what the World Heritage Committee is asking and stop the reckless expansion of coal and LNG ports at Abbot Point and Gladstone.
‘Climate change is the biggest facing the Reef, and exporting hundreds of mega tonnes of coal out through the Reef will make it even worse.
‘The restrictions on dumping dredge spoil in the Reef, noted in the draft decision, are thanks to the community’s sustained, passionate opposition to Reef dumping,’ Senator Waters said.
Capital dredging laws will help reef: govt
New laws banning capital dredging near the Great Barrier Reef will help the Queensland government convince the international community the environmental treasure is not ‘in danger’, premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says.
It is understood the sustainable ports development bill will ban capital dredging for new harbours or channels along the coast near the reef.
Capital dredging enlarges existing shipping waterways.
The laws would also ensure further expansions of existing ports were planned ‘in a sustainable way’, Ms Palaszczuk said.