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New study shows dredging and dumping doubles coral reef disease – Abbot Point must be stopped

Environment Minister Hunt must revoke his approval of the Abbot Point coal port in the Great Barrier Reef, given new research by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies out today that shows dredging doubles the frequency of coral disease.

“This landmark study busts the misinformation campaign being run the Queensland Resources Council and the Newman Government wide open,” Australian Greens environment spokesperson, Larissa Waters, said.

“Dredging and dumping destroys coral reefs and, even though that’s inconvenient for the big mining companies, it’s true.

“This study shows dredge spoil condemns coral to a fate worse than bleaching. While there is some hope for recovery from bleaching, dredging causes white syndrome, which kills off coral tissue so that it can’t grow back at all.

“Dredge spoil doubles the risk of diseases, mainly the deadly white syndrome, for corals, putting these irreplaceable natural wonders and important tourism assets at great risk.

“Alarmingly, the Abbot Point coal port has been ticked off by the Abbott Government without modelling that factors in ocean currents to measure how far the 3 million cubic metres of dredge spoil to be dumped in the Reef’s World Heritage waters will travel.

“At the behest of the big mining companies, the Abbott and Newman governments are sacrificing the health of the Reef, which 63 000 people rely on for their job.

“If the Abbott Government does not revoke the Abbot Point approval, it will be letting the big mining companies kill off our coral reefs near the Whitsundays with disease-inflicting dredge spoil,” Senator Waters said.

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