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Reef 2050 Plan fails on climate, dredging, dumping and shipping impacts

Media Release
Larissa Waters 21 Mar 2015

The Reef 2050 Plan, released today, fails dismally in protecting the Great Barrier Reef from climate change, dredging, dumping and shipping.

"This plan won't stop the Reef becoming a coal ship super highway," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.

"The plan identifies that climate change is the biggest threat facing the Reef.

"But it ignores the climate impacts of digging up one the world's largest undeveloped coal basins and shipping it out through the Reef.

"Coal is the elephant in the room, and the Abbott and Palaszczuk governments are both ignoring it and actively expanding coal exports which will cook the Reef and the planet.

"On dredge spoil dumping, bans on dumping of capital spoil are good first steps, but they do nothing to prevent maintenance dumping.

"Under current proposals, maintenance dredging would amount to more than one million cubic metres a year.

"While the announcement of $100 million to manage runoff is welcome, it's nowhere near enough.

"The plan fails to reverse the Abbott Government's 10 per cent budget cut to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the $40 million cut last year from Reef Rescue.

"The World Heritage Committee asked for development to be put on hold until the plan released today was finalised.

"But instead, the Abbott Government went ahead and approved one of the world's largest coal ports at Abbot Point, and three mega coal mines in the Galilee Basin.

"To save the Reef from an ‘In Danger' listing the Abbott and Palaszczuk governments should start by revoking the Abbot Point approval, and taking climate change seriously.

"The Abbot Point expansion for Galilee Basin mines is set to see this World Heritage Area become a highway for coal that will destroy it further," Senator Waters said.


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