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Australian Greens Deputy Leader Senator Larissa Waters comments on the Palaszczuk Government's announcement today that studies for the environmental impact statement for Abbot Point have begun:

Media Release
Larissa Waters 19 May 2015

"Climate change is the biggest threat the Great Barrier Reef faces and exporting hundreds of mega tonnes of coal through the Reef itself will make it much worse.

"We simply should not be building one of the world's largest coal ports in the Great Barrier Reef in an age of climate change, especially when we have renewable alternatives.

"Renewable energy has the potential to create far more jobs for Queenslanders and the big parties should stop browning down the Renewable Energy Target.

"The Reef is under continued threat from over-industrialisation: just today we've seen news that Gladstone could be the site of a new oil refinery which could drive further damaging port expansions.

"I call on the Palaszczuk Government to rule out further dredging and dumping at Gladstone, since their current commitment may not cover projects which are already approved, such as Stage 2 of the Western Basin Dredging project. 

"We already know that expanding the Abbot Point coal port will rip up seagrass beds, worsen water quality and increase the risk of shipping accidents and spills in this World Heritage Area.

"With just days until the World Heritage Committee publishes its draft decision on whether to list the Reef as 'In-Danger', the Palaszczuk Government should be dumping the Abbot Point expansion, not pushing ahead.

"Labor went to the election talking a lot about the Reef but, in government, their vision for the Reef is the same as the Liberal National Party's - a shipping super highway for coal and other fossil fuels," Senator Waters said. 

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