The Australian Greens congratulate community campaigns to protect the Great Barrier Reef, which have brought about Labor’s change of policy on offshore dumping today.
“Finally Labor has realised that Australians will not accept dumping in our Reef, after Labor failed to refuse the Abbot Point dumping and approved the Gladstone Harbour dumping disaster when in government,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.
“Now it’s time for the Abbott Government to listen to community, international and scientific opposition and stop letting our Reef be treated as a dump ground for the big mining companies.
“If the Abbott Government doesn’t want the Reef to downgraded to ‘In Danger’ at the World Heritage Committee meeting next year, it must ban offshore dumping and reverse the Abbott Point dumping approval.
“Both Labor and the Abbott Government should support my bill in the federal Parliament to ban offshore dumping, including the Abbot Point dumping.
“Labor’s change of tune today follows years of sustained, passionate and colourful community protest against the Reef’s industrialisation.
“Congratulations to everyone who has stood up for our Great Barrier Reef and the sustainable industries it provides.
“Our Reef is too precious to lose and even with onshore disposal of dredge spoil we should not be shipping hundreds of millions of tonnes of coal out through this World Heritage Area, which will come back to bite it through climate change.
“While neither Labor nor the Coalition have ever refused a coal mine, the Greens will continue to put our Reef ahead of the big mining companies,” Senator Waters said.