Tuesday 4 February 2014


A Clarence Valley resident has written to Dr Russell Reichelt, Chair of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (MPA) about the MPA's decision to allow 3 million cubic metres of dredge spoil to be dumped in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The text of this letter is printed below.

* * * * * 

I was appalled when I heard that the Marine Park Authority Board had approved the dumping of dredge spoil from the Abbot Point Port development within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. 

Your decision is continuing the dangerous precedent which you set when you allowed spoil from the Hay Point development to be dumped in the Marine Park some years ago.  With this latest decision you are confirming that short-term economic interests are much more important than the protection of the iconic marine ecosystems for which you are responsible.

You have imposed conditions to govern the dumping but just how sure are you that these conditions will be met and that they will actually do what they are supposed to do?

As I understand it, there were other options available for disposal of this dredged material but none of them were canvassed.  Was this because dumping in the Marine Park was the cheapest option?

Given there are other port proposals for the Reef coastline, what are you going to decide next time?  It would seem likely that you will agree again – and again - and again.

Just what consideration have you given to the cumulative effects of this disruption of ecosystems in the Marine Park area?  Have you concluded that there won't be any?

It seems to me that you have caved in to the pro-mining-development Federal and Queensland Governments as well as to the large mining companies.  Your decision is a disgrace.

* * * * * 

The independent grass-roots lobbying organisation GetUp is calling on those opposed to the dumping decision to consider donating to a Reef Fighting Fund which will be used to mount a legal challenge against this decision.  The case will be run by the Environmental Defenders Office of Queensland which will be representing the North Queensland Conservation Council.