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Greens call to put Reef ahead of mining profits

Shen Neng 1 aground on the Great Barrier Reef

The federal government needs to put the Great Barrier Reef ahead of mining profits, following UNESCO’s criticism of the Australian Government for approving liquefied natural gas processing on the doorstop of the Great Barrier Reef which could threaten its Overall Universal Value.

Australian Greens Senator for Queensland Larissa Waters said: “The federal and Queensland governments are treating the Great Barrier Reef like a coal and gas highway.

“The Federal Environment Minister’s approval of 55 million tonnes of dredging from the southern Great Barrier Reef at Gladstone’s Curtis Island to facilitate a gas export boom is a triumph of short term profit-seeking over the long term public interest.

“At risk is a $6bil/yr biodiversity and tourism icon which employs 67,000 people.

“Minister Burke needs to urgently facilitate the international monitoring mission that UNESCO has called for to scrutinise conservation efforts.

“Minister Burke should not approve any more developments that might affect the Great Barrier Reef until his Department has done the comprehensive strategic assessment that UNESCO calls for.

“The Great Barrier Reef is already under threat from climate change caused by fossil fuel burning – it’s a sad irony that it is also now directly threatened by dredging and shipping for that industry.”

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