The Great Barrier Reef is a national icon. It’s a place people all over the world travel to Australia to see. It’s the world’s largest reef. Now all of this is at risk. It’s an absolute outrage that the Government would allow Indian mining giant Adani to dredge millions of cubic metres of seabed within the Great Barrier Reef marine park to make way for its coal ships.
And now it gets even worse – Environmental Minister Greg Hunt has fast-tracked dredging the reef at Abbot Point and dumping the dredge spoil inside the Caley Valley wetlands without conducting a full environmental study.
Reef dredge spoil coming to the Caley Valley wetlands
Located on the central Queensland coast approximately 25 km north of Bowen is the internationally significant Caley Valley wetlands. Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has conducted extensive research on the wetlands. In a nutshell, their findings report that:
- The wetlands support populations of over 40,000 birds and 154 bird species.
- The wetlands support habitat of threatened migratory species such as the Australian Painted Snipe, Little Tern, Australian Cotton Pygmy-goose and the Eastern Curlew.
- Dugong and Snubfin Dolphins are known to inhabit adjacent waters.
- Marine turtles species, including the Green Turtle, Loggerhead Turtle and Flatback Turtle, feed and nest near the wetlands.
- Saltwater Crocodiles are dependent on the wetlands.
- Squatter Pigeon, Black-throated Finch, Northern Quoll, Coastal Sheathtail Bat, Water Mouse, Single-striped Delma and Koalas utilise the wetlands or inhabit bordering waters.
AMCS describe the wetlands as a ‘wildlife corridor for a threatened flora and fauna species’. But it’s not just the abundant wildlife that inhabit the wetlands that’s at risk from the dredge spoil dumping plans – it will have massive implications for the Great Barrier Reef too.
What does it mean for the Reef?
The wetlands are part of the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem, both in habitat and acting as a filter for sediment. So what’s dumped on the wetlands will end up on the Reef.
Hunt’s decision to hastily push the dumping decision through brings us one step closer to the Great Barrier Reef being dredged.
We can stop them!
Adani originally proposed to dump the millions of cubic metres of seabed from Abbot Point back into the ocean – polluting our vulnerable reef further. Thanks to tremendous pressure from Greenpeace supporters and green groups, the Queensland Government recognised that this was unacceptable. However, their ‘solution’ to dump the dredge spoil inside the wetlands is far from good news.
The Great Barrier Reef is important to Australia – so it’s about time the Australian Government listened its people instead of dirty mining companies and their threatening demands.
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