WWF-Australia congratulates the Federal Liberal National Party MP for Dawson in North Queensland for taking a stance against the dumping of dredge spoil in reef waters off Abbot Point.
George Christensen, whose electorate includes the coal terminal at Abbot Point, today took out a full page advertisement in the Whitsunday Coast Guardian newspaper announcing the change in his position on the issue.
“We congratulate Mr Christensen for recognising the concern in his electorate that dumping dredge spoil in Reef waters is an outdated practice with unacceptable impacts on the environment,” said WWF Reef campaigner Louise Matthiesson.
“He is responding positively to this concern, especially from tourism operators who fear that water pollution from dumping will further damage visibility, and the quality of the tourism experience, in the world famous Whitsunday Islands region.
“We call on Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt to follow the lead of his local MP and review the Abbot Point decision.
“Now is the time for Mr Hunt to announce a ban on the dumping of dredge spoil anywhere in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area,” she said.
Mr Christensen’s position is backed by leading coral reef and water quality scientists who spoke out against the dumping in a recent Four Corners program.
In his advertisement, Mr Christensen says he has started talks with North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) and it has agreed to re-examine land-based options for disposing of the dredge spoil.
“We welcome Mr Christensen’s initiative to seek an alternative to sea dumping,” Ms Matthiesson said.
“The best solution is to avoid large scale dredging and dumping altogether.
“We encourage the government and proponent to revisit earlier options including building longer trestles that virtually eliminate the need for dredging and the dumping of dredge spoil,” she said.
Source: WWF Australia