Rockhampton, 17 July 2013: Earlier today, Greenpeace climate campaigner, Louise Mathiesson, presented Environment & Climate Change Minister, Mark Butler, with a petition containing the names of 88,297 people who have signed Greenpeace’s petitions calling on the Australian Government to protect the Great Barrier Reef from the threats posed by coal port development and climate change caused by Australia’s coal exports.
The petition included the names of 33,872 people who have signed a petition specifically opposing the proposal to dredge 3 million cubic metres of seabed at Abbot Point and dump the dredge spoil within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park at Abbot Point.
Mathiesson reminded the Minister that he had three decisions to make to save Abbot Point and the Reef from coal and climate change. They included:
- An application to dredge three million cubic metres of seabed at Abbot Point and dump the dredge spoil at an unspecified location within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, with a decision deadline of 9 August;
- An application to construct Adani’s new Terminal 0 at Abbot Point literally metres from a beach where endangered Green and Flatback turtles are known to lay their eggs, with a decision deadline of 16 August;
- A decision to revoke the previous Minister’s approval for T3 given the current criminal investigation by the Environment Department into whether the proponents GVK-Hancock provided misleading information about the ecological values of the Caley Valley wetland at Abbot Point in order to gain the approval.
“Whether we are talking about the environment or climate change, all roads lead the Minister to Abbot Point and the decisions that confront him and his government there,” said Mathiesson. “It is clear the coal export industry has a very real used by date on it, so the last thing Minister Butler should do is approve the destruction of this area through dredging and the creation of huge industrial infrastructure that will become stranded assets sooner rather than later.”
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