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UNESCO ups ante on Great Barrier Reef dredge spoil dumping

UNESCO ups ante on Great Barrier Reef dredge spoil dumping
Media release 01/05/2014
Dredging in progress smallThe United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has overnight sent draft recommendations on the reef to the World Heritage Committee.

As reported by the ABC: “The decision condemns the Federal Government’s approval to dispose of three million cubic metres of dredge spoil at Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen, south of Townsville. UNESCO has recommended the committee consider adding the reef to the World Heritage in Danger list in 2015, unless the Government further protects the reef.”

Josh Coates, CAFNEC Marine Programs Coordinator said:
“UNESCO has significantly upped the ante with the renewed threat of listing the Great Barrier Reef as World Heritage in danger. The message is clear – the Government needs to do more to protect our iconic reef, particularly from the threat of port expansion dredge spoil impacts on reef health.”
“Amid criticism of the decision to allow the dumping of three million mᶾ of dredge spoil for the Abbot point expansion, Ports North and State and Federal Government must now reconsider the many proposed dredging projects along the Queensland coast. This includes the proposal to dredge over five million mᶾ of spoil from Cairns port.”
“While much of the focus has been on offshore dumping of dredge spoil in the marine park it is also important to note that onshore dumping options have an environmental cost, and are expensive and impractical for the Cairns area.”
“The Cairns port expansion is a massive environmental risk that could see taxpayers’ dollars spent to actually place our tourism industry in danger. We need to be looking at alternatives for supporting local business with better use of taxpayer dollars, not digging up our inlet for questionable economic outcomes.”
“Instead of spin campaigns from Government and Industry that ignore and misrepresent the science and are designed to divert attention away from the risks of dredging, we need to see real action on reef protection and a commitment to not increase the risks via new port dredging projects in places like Cairns Port.”

Read more here: http://cafnec.org.au/2014/04/queensland-resources-council-state-government-tag-team-spin-campaign-ignoring-reef-facts-great-barrier-reef/

Media contact: Josh Coates, Marine Programs Coordinator, (07) 4032 1586, marine@cafnec.org.au

 

Permanent link to this article: http://cafnec.org.au/2014/05/01/unesco-ups-ante-great-barrier-reef-dredge-spoil-dumping/