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Bipartisan support to ban dumping of dredge spoil

By Mark Beale

DREDGE spoil will not be dumped in the Great Barrier Reef no matter which party wins the next State Government election next year.

The Labor Party has announced it will prohibit the sea-based disposal of capital dredge spoil within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said the party’s position would protect the reef from offshore dredge spoil dumping for new or expanded port facilities.

Deputy premier Jeff Seeney also said publicly that this move was in line with LNP policy and that stopping dumping in the World Heritage area had bipartisan support.

“It shouldn’t be a political football,” he said. “I think everybody in Queensland and everybody in Australia wants to protect the Great Barrier Reef and we’ve got a common policy position – we can have a bipartisan approach to doing just that.”

President of the Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Association, Tony Brown, who has been at the forefront of the ‘no sea-dumping’ fight, said most of his dealings had been with Federal Government, but he welcomed the bipartisan state support.

“It makes a bold statement and hopefully we’ll continue to keep taking a responsible approach that will help the Great Barrier Reef stand up to future challengers such as climate change,” he said. Meanwhile Ms Palaszczuk promised the prohibition on dumping would not change Labor’s support for the Abbot Point expansion.

“Labor recognises the importance of port facilities to our economy. More than two-thirds of Queensland’s exports are shipped from ports in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area,” she said.

“That’s why, where a port expansion involving dredging is necessary, Labor will mandate the beneficial reuse of dredge spoil such as land reclamation in port development areas, or disposal on land.”

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