Tony Abbott’s Great Barrier Reef policy, reported on today, completely ignores the impacts of mining industrialisation, just like Kevin Rudd’s does, say the Australian Greens.
“Tony Abbott has joined Kevin Rudd today with a toothless Great Barrier Reef policy that does nothing to stand in the way of the reef being turned into a dumping ground for dredge spoil and a shipping super highway for the big mining companies,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.
“Only the Greens are taking heed of UNESCO’s warning that the Great Barrier Reef could be added to the international list of World Heritage sites in danger by next year if the reef continues to be industrialised at such an alarming rate.
“The Greens are standing up to the big mining companies with a plan to stop new dredging and offshore dumping of dredge spoil in this World Heritage Area and put an end to damaging port expansions like Abbot Point.
“While we agree that funding for crown of thorns eradication is needed, the problem will only be exacerbated by the continued mass dumping of dredge spoil which lowers water quality, creating ideal conditions for this invasive species.
“The Greens have a comprehensive $176 million Great Barrier Reef package, which includes increased funding for the Reef Rescue program, which supports farmers improving the water quality of their runoff to the reef, and an extra $20 million a year for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to properly resource its important research, regulatory compliance and community engagement.
“We are also committing $16 million for long-term reef planning to set clear no-go zones for destructive development.
“While Tony Abbott wants to hand federal approval powers for developments that impact on nationally significant environmental assets, like the Great Barrier Reef, over to state governments, the Greens long-term reef plan will ensure Campbell Newman is not given total responsibility for the Great Barrier Reef,” Senator Waters said.