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Taha reminded of promise to the reef

By Mark Beale

MEMBERS of the community group Whitsunday Residents Against Dumping (WRAD) delivered a live lily to ALP candidate Bronwyn Taha on World Wetlands Day this week, asking her to keep her promise not to dump dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef marine park or Caley Valley wetlands if she is elected.

WRAD spokesperson Brittney Gregory said the tight contest for the seat of Whitsunday showed the deep level of community concern about the proposed dredging and dumping for the expansion of Abbot Point and the impact it would have on the environment and local tourism businesses.

Ms Gregory again expressed her disappointment that despite the concerns of thousands of community members over these plans, LNP candidate Jason Costigan ignored an invitation to attend the Reef Hour candidates’ forum last week “and has made no commitment to protect the reef and the local tourism industry it supports”.

“The Queensland election was a referendum on the future of the reef – and Queenslanders overwhelmingly want the natural icon and the tourism jobs that rely on it protected,” she said.

“The ALP has promised not to dump dredge spoil in the wetlands, they must now urgently deliver.”

Ms Taha said she also was appalled that Mr Costigan had not attended the candidates’ forum to discuss the reef and that after this occurred he had referred to members of WRAD as Whitsunday Residents Against Coal (WRAC), who wanted everyone to go and live in a cave at the back of Dittmer and who could “wrac off” (Whitsunday Times, January 29).

“That really concerns me and it is just proof that even with this swing against him he has not learned that he has to represent everybody,” she said.

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