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Great Barrier Reef must be protected from dangers of toxic transportation.



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Senator Andrew Bartlett Senator for Queensland Australian Democrats spokesperson for Environment

16/2/00

Great Barrier Reef must be protected from dangers of toxic transportation

The train accident west of Townsville which has seen diesel fuel spill into waterways highlights the dangers of transporting toxic materials.

Andrew Bartlett, Senator for Queensland and the Democrats environment spokesperson, has joined calls for the Environment Minister Rod Welford to hold an inquiry into the accident.

"We hope the damage from this inland accident can be contained. However, if this had occurred on a coastal route it would have caused disastrous damage to the Great Barrier Reef," said Senator Bartlett.

"There seems to be an inevitability to transport accidents involving toxic materials.

"The Queensland government should ensure that all possible precautions are taken to prevent accidents and that maximum resources can be rallied quickly to clean up spills.

"The Queensland government should go out of its way to avoid dirty industries and transport routes that could impact on the Great Barrier Reef.

"According to the Government’s State of the Environment report, eleven million tonnes of petroleum products are transported through Queensland ports each year and many of these ships travel through the Great Barrier Reef."

"This accident also points to the importance of developing clean, green and renewable energy sources," concluded Senator Bartlett.

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