THE Australian Greens have commented on reports that Clive Palmer’s nickel refinery is threatening human health and the Great Barrier Reef with massive ponds full of toxic sludge.
“It’s appalling that Clive Palmer (pictured courtesy of Sky News) is threatening people’s health and our Great Barrier Reef with massive ponds of toxic sludge and that he’s been allowed to get away with it for so long,” Senator Larissa Waters said.
“Queenslanders love the Reef, and 63,000 of them rely on it for their jobs, but Mr Palmer is putting his own personal interests as a mining baron first.
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“It’s unbelievable that Mr Palmer has been allowed to store hundreds of millions of litres toxic waste from his nickel refinery in ponds that threaten to spill into the Reef, especially given the refinery’s history of environmental breaches.
“If Clive Palmer can afford ads for himself on prime-time TV, he can afford to clean up his businesses rather than letting them pollute the Reef.
“Instead, he has threatened to sue the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority if they pursue him for illegally dumping toxic pollution into the Reef.
“What’s more, Clive Palmer plans to export masses of coal through the Reef, which will mean even more shipping, dredging and possibly offshore dumping of that dredge spoil for this World Heritage Area.
“Mr Palmer needs to stop thinking of the Reef like it’s his own personal waste dump.
“And the federal and state governments need to start putting the Reef and employment it provides ahead of the private profits of the big end of town,” Senator Waters said.
Mr Palmer’s office in Canberra has been contacted for comment.