Greenpeace’s Esperanza docks at Townsville with hope of urgent meeting with GBRMPA

Press release - 16 December, 2013
Monday, 16 December 2013 - Townsville: Greenpeace will request an urgent meeting with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) to ask that it refuse to issue a permit to dispose of dredge spoils in the Reef’s marine park. Greenpeace ship Esperanza docked at Townsville yesterday after a week-long tour up the Queensland coast documenting the threats of industrialisation and climate change to the reef.

Greenpeace Qld Campaigner Louise Matthiesson, who is travelling on the Esperanza, said GBRMPA should step up in its role as protector of the Great Barrier Reef and reject dumping within the marine park boundary off Abbot Point.

By Christmas eve, GBRMPA must either make a decision on the dumping permit or extend the deadline.

“GBRMPA has been given a huge lump of coal for Christmas. It’s under pressure to allow 3 million cubic metres of mud to be dumped in the Reef’s marine park when there can be no benefit for the health of the Reef,” Ms Matthiesson said.

“The Authority’s being asked to make this significant call on treating the Reef’s waters as a dump without knowing the exact location of the final sites.

“No one wants to see Abbot Point become another Gladstone. GBRMPA should make a wise decision for the future of the reef and reject the dumping permits.”

“Building new coal export terminals at Abbot Point would be a double-whammy for the Reef, since coal is a major driver of climate change – the greatest threat to the Reef’s long term survival.

“The Reef supports a $6 billion tourism industry that provides sustainable long term jobs for Queenslanders, surely the future of the reef is more important than short term profits from polluting coal exports?” Ms Matthiesson said.

File photos from tour available for download, including image of a tombstone in the reef’s waters, inscription reads ‘RIP Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Listing 1981 – 2014?’

File photos and video: www.greenpeacemedia.org
username: photos  password: green

Media contacts: Louise Matthiesson 0406 041 428 / Jane Garcia 0434 489 533

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