The Australian Greens call on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to reject dredge spoil dumping for the Abbot Point coal port in light of further evidence today from Goldman Sachs that world demand for coal is slowing.
“The Authority is legally allowed to consider the economic viability of the Abbot Point coal terminal expansion in deciding whether dredge sludge should be dumped in the Reef,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.
“There’s no point ruining our Reef, with massive amounts of dredging and dumping of sludge for a coal port that could well prove unviable.
“According to investment bankers Goldman Sachs, thermal coal demand is dropping globally, with investors opting for cleaner energy alternatives.
“It’s incredibly short sighted for the Abbott and Newman governments to be putting a dying coal industry ahead of the 63 000 tourism jobs the Reef provides.
“Instead of passing the dumping decision on to GBRMPA, the Abbott and Newman governments should have knocked back the Abbot Point coal port expansion in the first place.
“Tony Abbott and Campbell Newman need to realise we’re at the end of the fossil fuel era and we should be leading the transition to safe, sustainable energy alternatives that don’t sacrifice our tourism and agricultural industries,” Senator Waters said.
Greens candidate for Griffith Geoff Ebbs said: “My volunteers and I have been busy doorknocking in Griffith and time and time again people bring up the issue of climate change with us.
“People in Griffith and across Queensland have felt the impacts of climate change first hand through flooding and heatwaves and yet Tony Abbott is putting the coal industry ahead of the Great Barrier Reef and tearing apart climate action.
“Tony Abbott is out of touch – Griffith wants clean energy, a safe climate and a healthy Great Barrier Reef,” Mr Ebbs said.
Senator Waters – Monique Vandeleur 0419 626 725
Geoff Ebbs – Kate Dennehy 0422 294 771