Court challenge to Great Barrier Reef dredge dumping permit

Press release - 26 February, 2014
Brisbane, Thursday 27 February 2013: A challenge has been lodged in the Australian Administrative Appeals Tribunal against the granting of a sea-dumping permit for the dredging operation to expand the Abbot Point coal port at Abbot Point, beside the Great Barrier Reef.

“This challenge shows the community will not stand by and watch while this dredging and dumping operation damages the values of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area,” said Greenpeace Campaigner Louise Matthiesson.

“In order to export coal from planned new mega-mines in the Galilee Basin, Indian coal giants Adani and GVK must build new coal terminals at Abbot Point and dredge 3 million cubic metres of seabed, with the dredge spoil dumped in the ocean within the Reef Marine Park.”

“These projects will have destructive effects from pit-to-port, draining water supplies, clearing native bushland, spreading toxic coal dust, damaging the Great Barrier Reef and resulting in more greenhouse gas emissions than many small countries.”

Greenpeace applauds the North Queensland Conservation Council for taking this step, and the thousands of people from around Australia and the world who have donated to a legal fighting fund to make the challenge possible.

“The proposal to dredge and dump in the Reef World Heritage Area have caused a public outcry in Australia, and caught the attention of concerned people internationally.”

“The World Heritage Committee will be meeting in Qatar in June to consider a possible ‘in-danger’ listing for the Great Barrier Reef, and this will add to their concern about the Australian Government’s failure to enforce adequate safeguards to protect the natural icon.”

“This court challenge is another nail in the coffin for Adani and GVK’s Galilee Basin projects, which are already un-financial given the low world coal price,” she concluded.

For more information contact: Louise Matthiesson, Queensland Campaigner, Greenpeace Australia Pacific. Ph: +61 406 041 428