The Newman Government’s plans to privatise ports and to weaken environmental impact assessment, revealed today, will put more pressure on the Great Barrier Reef than ever before, say the Australian Greens.
“With coal ports in private hands and a lax process for assessing their environmental impacts, the Great Barrier Reef will be under more pressure than ever before,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.
“The coal industry wants to double exports in the next decade – that will mean more and bigger ports on the reef’s coast, built by dredging up seabed and dumping the slush into pristine marine areas, including feeding grounds for dugongs and turtles.
“That’s all so massive coal ships can tear through the Great Barrier Reef, risking fragile reef ecosystems in their wake, and delivering that coal overseas where the emissions will significantly increase Australia’s contribution to climate change, intensifying the extreme weather events that we’re all too familiar with here in Queensland. .
“Australians care about the Great Barrier Reef and a healthy climate – thousands of activists have signed an open letter advertised in The Financial Review today putting the coal industry on notice that they believe peaceful resistance is justified to save the Great Barrier Reef.
Australian Greens lead Senate candidate for Queensland, Adam Stone, said the privatisation plans would make life harder for many Queenslanders.
“Ports are just one of the many assets the Newman Government wants to privatise – it agrees with most of the Costello Report, which recommends privatisation and outsourcing in almost all areas of government responsibility, including transport, health, aged care and education.
“Privatisation of these essential services will make life harder for the thousands of public servants who stand to lose their jobs through the Newman Government’s brutal cuts,” Mr Stone said.
Senator Waters - Monique Vandeleur 0419 626 725
Adam Stone - 0417 629 852