Australia agrees dumping near Barrier Reef

About 3 million cubic metres of mud will be dumped near world heritage site after approval to expand Queensland coal port.

Australia has approved a plan to dump millions of tonnes of sediment near the Great Barrier Reef as part of a major coal port expansion — a decision that environmentalists say will endanger one of the world’s most fragile eco-systems.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority rubber-stamped the federal government’s approval of the expansion of the Abbot Point coal port in northern Queensland, which requires a massive dredging operation to expanded access.

About three million cubic metres of mud will be dumped within the marine park under the plan.

Greg Hunt, the environment minister, has vowed that “some of the strictest conditions in Australian history” would be in place to protect the reef, including water quality measures and safeguards for the reef’s plants and animals. ? (Huffington Post)

Updated: 2014-03-01 — 17:58:33