‘The environment minister, Greg Hunt, has ordered the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to draft regulations to ban dredge spoil dumping in the area “once and for all”. The move makes good on Hunt’s commitment to the Unesco World Heritage Committee, which has threatened to list the reef as in danger.
Environment groups say the dump ban in the marine park is an “important step” but ignores about 80% of dredge dumping in the rest of the reef’s world heritage area. WWF Australia has called for a full ban on dumping within the heritage area. “It it no longer acceptable to simply use the reef as a dump,” its chief, Dermot O’Gorman, said. In 2013, the federal government approved the dumping of 3m tonnes of dredge waste within the marine park waters from the Abbot Point coal port. Hunt is considering a revised plan to dump the spoil in the Caley valley wetlands.’ (The Guardian, 26.1.15)