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Newman Government refuses to see World Heritage 'In Danger' warning as the wakeup call it is

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Senator Larissa Waters Senator for Queensland Media release

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Newman Government refuses to see World Heritage ‘In Danger’ warning as the wakeup call it is

The Newman Government is refusing to publicly accept the serious criticism the World Heritage Committee expressed overnight for the government’s management of the Great Barrier Reef.

“The Newman Government is deluded if it thinks that the World Heritage Committee’s third and final warning of an ‘In Danger’ listing for the Reef is somehow good news,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.

“The World Heritage Committee clearly stated that because of the “range of significant threats” they hold “significant concerns” about “the long term deterioration of key aspects of the outstanding universal value”.

“The World Heritage Committee singled out dredging and dumping as damaging the Reef and specifically expressed concern about the Abbot Point proposal to build the world’s largest coal port in the Great Barrier Reef.

“That Abbot Point coal port expansion, approved by the Abbott and Newman governments, would see 5 million tonnes of dredge spoil dumped into the Reef’s World Heritage waters.

“The World Heritage Committee says the Newman Government’s port strategy needs to be strengthened and doesn’t cover existing ports proposals, which are the ones that brought on the warning of an ‘In Danger’ listing in the first place.

“The Committee also criticises the Abbott Government’s hasty plan to hand federal environmental approval powers over to state governments, leaving the Reef’s protection solely in the hands of Campbell ‘we’re in the coal business’ Newman.

“It’s incredibly alarming that the Newman Government is refusing to accept this criticism because it needs to act fast to save the Reef from an ‘In Danger’ listing next year.

“The Newman Government needs to start thinking about the 63 000 people who rely on a healthy Reef for their job and stop letting the big mining companies treat the Reef as a dump ground for dredge spoil and a shipping super highway,” Senator Waters said.

Contact - Monique Vandeleur 0419 626 725