6 thoughts on “Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, corporate greenwashing?

  1. Wednesday 23rd December 2015

    posted by Morning Star in World

    by Our Foreign Desk

    AUSTRALIA’S federal government formally approved the dredging of vast swathes of the seabed from an area near the Great Barrier Reef yesterday.

    The proposal is part of a major coal port expansion and was agreed after the government rejected arguments by environmentalists that it will hurt the region’s fragile ecosystem.

    Environment Minister Greg Hunt initially approved the expansion of the Abbot Point coal port in northern Queensland in 2013, but the process has been repeatedly delayed and revised amid protests by conservation groups.

    The expansion requires a massive dredging operation to clear channels and make way for ships entering and leaving the port.

    Up to 39 million cubic feet of dredged material would be removed and disposed of on land in an industrial area, a spokeswoman for Mr Hunt said. The plan still requires the approval of the Queensland government.

    Conservationists have argued that dredging will be catastrophic for the delicate reef.

    Beyond the initial concern that dumped sediment would smother coral and sea grass, environmental groups have warned that the increased shipping traffic would boost the risk of accidents, such as oil spills and collisions with coral beds.

    International conservation group WWF condemned the decision, warning that the dredging will still threaten sea life and noting that the dumped sediment will now be disposed of in an area adjacent to wetlands that are home to thousands of birds.


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