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Auditors' report shows Abbot Point dumping permit approval shonky – GBRMPA should have funding to fix the process

Media Release
Larissa Waters 14 Aug 2015

The Australian National Audit Office's report into Great Barrier Reef permits reveals a sloppy approvals process, especially in the case of the Abbot Point dumping permit.

"The audit shows the incredibly sloppy process that led to the Abbot Point offshore dumping permit being granted without enough time or information," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.  

"This vindicates why the community with the Greens campaigned successfully to cancel the offshore Abbot Point dumping permit.

"Otherwise millions of tonnes of dredge sludge could have gone ahead and been dumped in the Reef's World Heritage waters without the permit even being properly assessed.

"While the GBRMPA agrees with the improvements recommended by the report, it will be a struggle for it to achieve these after the Abbott Government further cut its already limited budget.

"The Abbott Government needs to urgently inject funding into the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to allow the resources to fix the processes and to review the permits granted.   

"Thanks to the community with the Greens campaigning against Reef dumping, there has been some improvements but millions of tonnes of maintenance dredge spoil is still dumped in the Reef.  

"Maintenance dredging may sometimes be required but the dumping of that dredge spoil in the Reef's waters, instead of on-shore, raises serious concerns.

"It's all the more alarming that the permit approval process is so shonky when you consider how many dredging permits are issued and the dumping of maintenance dredge spoil that still goes on in our Reef's World Heritage waters," Senator Waters said.

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