Less than three weeks after Queensland Environment Minister Andrew Powell conceded that Gladstone harbour was a mess, he has given Gladstone Ports Corporation a free pass to increase the turbidity churned up in the water by their mass dredging operations.
“The ongoing environmental crisis in Gladstone harbour is a disaster for the Gladstone community, an embarrassment for Queensland and a national disgrace,” Australian Greens environment spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters said.
“Queenslanders were waiting to see if the Campbell Newman Government would help Gladstone harbour, part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area: now we know they will act as environmental vandals.
“The Queensland Government is now allowing Gladstone Ports Corporation to go more than three times over the ANZECC water quality guidelines.
“This comes at the worst possible time for the Great Barrier Reef, when UNESCO are finalising their report on whether or not the Reef should be given a ‘World Heritage in Danger’ status.
“This is all the more reason for federal Environment Minister Tony Burke not to pursue the appalling plan to delegate the Australian Government’s responsibilities for protecting the environment back down to the states, as Campbell Newman is clearly incapable of handling them.
“For the sake of the Gladstone community, I will be asking the Australian Government to step in and do its own independent studies into what’s happening in the harbour, and impose federal turbidity conditions at acceptable levels.”