The Abbott Government's disregard for the climate and the Great Barrier Reef is criminal, said the Australian Greens today as the Abbott Government approved the Abbot Point coal port expansion and the Curtis Island gas processing facility.
"The Abbott Government has sacrificed the climate and the Great Barrier Reef for overseas mining companies with its approval today of the world's largest coal port and another CSG plant in our Great Barrier Reef," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.
"Tony Abbott has given the big mining companies exactly what they want and left the rest of us with coal for Christmas.
"The Prime Minister is ignoring the World Heritage Committee's warnings about the mass industrialisation of the Reef, and is inviting a World Heritage In Danger listing.
"The coal to be mined from the Galilee Basin and exported through Abbot Point each year which will create more CO2 emissions a year than produced by both Denmark and Portugal combined.
"The Abbot Point coal terminal expansion will see 3 million cubic metres of seabed dredged up and dumped in the Reef's World Heritage waters.
"Even though dredge spoil moves around once dumped, so can smother seagrass beds and coral, the location of dredge spoil dumping site hasn't even been specified in the approval, which will alarm fishers and tourism operators alike.
"And the Curtis Island CSG plant will lock in more water-destroying CSG mining and see even more ships exporting fossil fuels through the Reef to exacerbate climate change.
"The big mining companies are being allowed to treat our Great Barrier Reef as a dumping ground for dredge spoil and a shipping super highway," Senator Waters said.
The Greens will seek to move the Abbot Point coal port approval tomorrow morning in the Senate as a Matter of Public Importance.