GOLD COAST residents gathered together in support for the Great Barrier Reef at a public forum at Griffith University this week.
Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters addressed the forum hosted by the Gold Coast and Hinterland Branch of the Wildlife Preservation Society, on Wednesday.
Senator Waters said our Great Barrier Reef was under pressure like never before.
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“The World Heritage Committee is warning the Reef’s international status could be downgraded to ‘In Danger’ if it continues to be overrun with industrialsation,” she said.
“Despite this strong international warning, the Abbott Government has approved the world’s largest coal port to be built in the Reef at Abbot Point.
“This includes allowing 5 million tonnes of dredge spoil to be dumped in the Reef’s World Heritage waters, where it can smother seagrass beds – feeding and breeding grounds for dugongs and turtles.
“The Abbott Government is letting the big mining companies treat our Reef as a dump ground and a shipping super highway for coal and gas.”
On the Gold Coast, where so many locals share a close connection with the beach and the ocean, there has been wide spread public concern about the impacts of dumping dredged sludge offshore into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
“On behalf of everyone who loves the Reef, the Greens have introduced a bill to federal Parliament to implement the World Heritage Committee’s recommendations to save the Reef, and to ban offshore dumping of sludge into the Reef’s waters,” Senator Waters said.
“If the old parties don’t want to see our Reef end up on the ‘In Danger’ World Heritage list, they should support my bill.”