FIGHT FOR THE REEF CAMPAIGN
7TH JUNE 2013
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the natural wonders of the world. But it is under threat from the most widespread, rapid and damaging set of industrial developments in Queensland’s history. The Queensland Government is fast-tracking mega port developments, dredging and dumping of millions of tonnes of seabed and rock, and encouraging a shipping superhighway.
What is the Queensland Government actually doing to the Reef?
The Queensland Government has been watering down environmental protection and fast-tracking approvals for ports and LNG plants along the Reef’s coast. It is committed to supporting industrialisation regardless of the impacts and is more concerned with the interests of the mining industry than it is about the impacts of coal ports and other developments on the Reef. Why else would they want to build the world’s largest coal port 50 km from the Whitsunday Islands?
What can the Federal Government do to stop this damage from taking place?
The Great Barrier Reef is a World Heritage Area and primary responsibility for its health and management rests with the Australian Government. The Reef is for all Australians, not just big industry. If the Queensland Government can’t look after the Reef, the Australian Government should step in, because the Reef and its tourism industry are too important to lose.
Port developments and shipping pose a huge threat to the Reef. Ports require millions of tonnes of dredging to establish channels and berthing facilities and there are plans to dump large amounts of this material in the Reef’s waters. Dredging threatens the feeding and breeding grounds of sensitive species like turtles and dugongs. We’ve already seen huge impacts on the southern Reef from port development and shipping. Current plans will mean over a 50-fold increase in dumping along the Reef in the coming years. The World Heritage Committee is greatly concerned, as are we.