STOP THE DUMPING OF 1 MILLION TONNES OF DREDGE SLUDGE ONTO AUSTRALIA'S GREAT BARRIER REEF

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We are horrified to read the news in The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/20/great-barrier-reef-authority-gives-green-light-to-dump-dredging-sludge on February 20, 2019 (and other news outlets since) that states:

"The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has approved the dumping of more than 1m tonnes of dredge spoil near the reef, using a loophole in federal laws that were supposed to protect the marine park.

The Greens senator Larissa Waters has called for the permit – which allows maintenance dredging to be carried out over 10 years at Mackay’s Hay Point port and the sludge to be dumped within the marine park’s boundaries – to be revoked.

“The last thing the reef needs is more sludge dumped on it, after being slammed by the floods recently,” Waters said. “One million tonnes of dumping dredged sludge into world heritage waters treats our reef like a rubbish tip.”

Acting on concerns from environmentalists, the federal government banned the disposal of dredge spoil near the reef in 2015. But the ban applied only to capital dredging. Maintenance work at ports – designed to remove sediment from shipping lanes as it accumulates – is not subject to it.​

On 29 January the marine park authority granted conditional approval for North Queensland Bulk Ports to continue to dump maintenance dredge spoil within the park’s boundaries.​"​

The ban SHOULD be extended to maintenance work at ports, not just capital dredging.

It must be stopped for the sake of the health of the globally iconic Great Barrier Reef.

From Deloitte Australia: "Need a reason to save the Great Barrier Reef? We’ve found 56 billion of them." -

https://www2.deloitte.com/au/en/pages/economics/articles/great-barrier-reef.html

Here is a link to the Sea Dumping Permit (which is valid to 31 January 2029):

https://nqbp.com.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/31565/SD19-01-Sea-Dumping-Permit.pdf

TO: Simon Banks - as General Manager, Great Barrier Reef Operations Branch at Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, a delegate of the Minister for the Environment, and signatory of the Sea Dumping Permit (as published on the website (https://nqbp.com.au/our-ports/hay-point/proposed-maintenance-dredging):

This dredge sludge dump must be stopped, to prevent yet more catastrophic damage to the world-renowned Great Barrier Reef and environs - a UNESCO World Heritage Site that urgently needs protection, not pollution. 

TO: Nicolas Fertin - as CEO of North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation, we urge you to change your mind and prevent this toxic sludge from being dumped within the Marine Park boundaries, over ten years, which will wreak further, irreversible havoc onto this already-fragile and dying reef.

#GBRMPA #LarissaWaters #GreatBarrierReef

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