Protect our Global Ocean Heritage!

Coral-bleaching-on-the-GBR- Reuters

Coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef. Photograph: Reuters

UPDATE

On Tuesday night, Environment Minister Greg Hunt caved to mining interests and approved the dredging and dumping of 3 million cubic metres of seabed in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area at Abbot Point.

This will create a shipping superhighway allowing thousands of coal ships to plough through the Great Barrier Reef every year. It is the first major step in making way for the largest coal port in the world at Abbot Point.

But here’s why we can’t give up:

Minister Hunt has approved the dredging and dumping, but the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) still has to issue a permit to allow the dumping to occur in the Marine Park. They have said they will make a decision within ten days.

As the Government body tasked with protecting the Reef, the Reef Authority has an obligation to act in the best interest of the Reef. This project, clearly, is not.

We have less than 10 days to convince them to uphold their role as guardians of the Reef and reject this dangerous dumping project.

Click here to ask the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to stand up against the dumping project that threatens our Reef.

http://www.getup.org.au/the-reef

There are some serious flaws in Minister Hunt’s approval, and it now lies with the Reef Authority to address them.

Minister Hunt has approved the project without even knowing where the dumping will occur. Without knowing where the dump site is, there is no way the environmental impact on the Reef and its fragile ecosystem can be accurately assessed. As protectors of the Reef, we must pressure our Independent Reef Authority to not green-light the dumping of toxic sludge in reef waters.

Click here to demand that no dumping be approved without assessing exactly how it’ll impact our Reef.

http://www.getup.org.au/the-reef

Minister Hunt’s decision is far from the end of the road. The Great Barrier Reef is our national treasure and we won’t stand idly by while politicians and coal barons decide to trash it. There’s no way we will stop fighting after one setback.

Act on this window of opportunity now, and stay ready for the fight ahead.

Thanks for everything.

from GetUp

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The blind-deaf-and-dumb Australian Environment minister, Greg Hunt, has approved controversial dredging off the Queensland coast that will help create one of the world’s largest coalports, while imposing what he calls some of the “strictest conditions in Australian history” to safeguard the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

This year Unesco’s World Heritage Centre warned that the Great Barrier Reef, which has lost half of its coral cover in the past 30 years, would be placed on its “in-danger” list if there were major new port developments. Hunt has ignored their advices to refrain from major new development in the marine park.

Hunt said he would allow the contentious dredging program for three proposed terminals at the Abbot Point port near the town of Bowen. The approval documents show the 3million cubic metres of seabed spoil from the dredging will be dumped within the Great Barrier Reef marine park area.

“The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s great natural wonders and protecting it for the future is vital,” Hunt said.

More here from the Guardian’s reporting.

Sad, sad day for our oceans.

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