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Don’t trust Reef Trust to save jobs or the Reef

The Australian Greens today lamented the fossil fuel blind spot in the Australian Government's $40 million Reef Trust discussion paper released today, describing it as a continuation of Tony Abbott's protection racket for overseas mining companies.

"If the Abbott Government wanted to protect the Great Barrier Reef they would keep the carbon price and ban dredging and offshore dumping - instead they are protecting their mining magnate mates and try to distract from the key threats to the Reef," Senator Larissa Waters, Greens environment spokesperson, said.

"The Greens welcome any improvements to deal with Crown of Thorns starfish and dugong and turtle protection, but to ignore the big threats to the Reef - climate change and dredging and dumping for coal ports - makes a mockery of these measures.

"The Reef Trust is a farce coming from a Government which has approved mass dredging and offshore dumping that is worsening the very water quality problems they say this new body is required to fix.

"The notion that damage to the Reef can be offset is an excuse to continue to trash the Reef for the benefit of the overseas mining companies' profits. The Senate inquiry into environmental offsets will expose the evidence about whether such damage can even be offset or should instead be avoided in the first place.

"The Reef Trust does nothing to address the recommendations the World Heritage Committee had about constraining the mass industrialisation of the Reef for fossil fuel ports.

"The Reef Trust does nothing to avert the threat of a ‘World Heritage In Danger' listing, which would devastate the Great Barrier Reef tourism industry and threaten its 63 000 jobs.

"The Greens will continue to stand with all those who love our Reef and want it protected, while the Government runs a protection racket for overseas mining companies' profits," Senator Waters said.


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