According to Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt, there’s nothing as damaging as a bit of red tape and bureaucracy to slow down economic growth. But what does fast-tracking, cutting red tape and streamlining approvals really mean for the places we love?

Here’s what Abbott’s and Hunt’s ‘fast-tracking’ really means:

  • Building a coal port at Abbot Point, in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, in the middle of the cyclone season.
  • Getting approval for dredging in the Great Barrier Reef and dumping on an internationally significant wetland in 3 months.
  • Not doing a full environmental assessment of the impacts of their outlandish ideas.
  • Using taxpayers’ money to fund the development because Adani, the Indian mining giant that wants the port, hasn’t raised the money yet.
  • Giving the public a measly ten days to comment on a nationally significant project.
  • Doing what they want, regardless of the consequences.

And now they want to push all of this through over the Christmas period, in the hope that no one will notice!

Submissions for the proposal to dredge millions of tonnes of seabed from the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and dump it on nearby wetlands to make way for a massive new coal port close on the 18th December. If you care about the reef then this is your chance to stop the proposal at Abbot Point going ahead. They’ve only given you a few days and it’s at the worst possible time of year but now, more than ever, we all need to raise our voices about this project and tell them we don’t want the dredgers to pay Nemo a visit the night before Christmas.

What you can do

Call Greg Hunt on (03) 5979 3188. Here are some things you can mention:

  • We cannot protect the reef and have the two proposals for Abbot Point, the dredging and the disposal of the dredge spoil on the Caley Valley Wetlands, proceed.

Write a submission email to [email protected] by the 18 December.

Make sure you say it’s a submission on the proposed Abbot Point dredging and onshore placement of dredged material at the Port of Abbot Point (EPBC 2014/7355) and proposed Abbot Point Port and Wetland Project at the Port of Abbot Point (EPBC 2014/7356).

In case you are stuck for words, we have drafted an email for you, just copy and paste the text below:

Abbot Point Port and Wetlands project
Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning
PO Box 15009
City East Qld 4002

Submission on the proposed Abbot Point dredging and onshore placement of dredged material at the Port of Abbot Point – EPBC 2014/7355 and proposed Abbot Point Port and Wetland Project at the Port of Abbot Point – EPBC 2014/7356

Dear Minister,

The two proposals are for a project that will affect the future of one of our greatest natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef.

Taken together, the two proposals ask you to authorise the Queensland Government to dredge the sea floor at Abbot Point; dispose of that dredge spoil on a section of the nearby Caley Valley Wetlands; and construct a bund around the remainder of the wetland, permanently altering its ecology.

The Caley Valley Wetlands are a Great Barrier Reef wetland, home to 40,000 birds, including the endangered painted snipe. The area is home to endangered turtles, dugongs and whales.

It is not possible for you to approve these projects and protect the reef.

These proposals are so an Indian mining giant can build the port, rail line and coal mine but they have not raised the money yet and some of the world’s biggest banks have said it is too risky to fund. It would be a national shame to dredge the reef and dump in the reef’s wetlands for a port that isn’t needed.

I urge you to exercise your powers and act as Minister for the Environment in rejecting these proposals.


Good luck and please let us know how you get on by leaving a comment below.