Re-drawing World Heritage boundaries won’t fix Gladstone Harbour
Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney’s comments on removing Gladstone Harbour from the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area show the LNP is prepared to sacrifice the Reef for mining profits, and put the spotlight on whether the federal government will remain complicit.
“Mr Seeney’s comments are an admission that mass dredging is an environmental disaster that does not belong in a World Heritage area,” Australian Greens environment spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters said.
“It is the mass dredging that should be stopped, not the World Heritage listing.
“The LNP is showing it is just as wedded as state Labor was – and federal Labor is – to sacrificing the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area for short-term private profits for foreign-owned companies.
“If federal Environment Minister Burke is to retain any shred of credibility after capitulating to the business lobby to weaken our national environmental laws, he must come clean about whether he will keep the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage boundaries intact and stop approving its destruction for mining profits.
“The Reef can’t handle mass dredging, offshore dumping of dredge spoil, vastly increased shipping and the climate impacts of burning the fossil fuels to be exported through six new planned coal and coal seam gas ports – it’s no wonder UNESCO has expressed ‘extreme concern’ about its future.
“Both levels of government also need to explain to the Gladstone community why the long-term industries that rely on the environmental values of the harbour, such as sustainable fishing and tourism, must now take a back seat to the demands of the mining giants.”