Dredging issue shelved for after Federal Election

LABOR's campaign director is spruiking Flynn as a key seat to win, as industry and green groups work to make dredging an election issue for Central Queensland.

Meanwhile time is running out for candidates, with nominations closing on Wednesday.

The Australian Greens are putting up the only female candidate for the electorate - Serena Thompson, but not much else is known about her as yet.

Australian Labor Party campaign director George Wright claims the electorate of Flynn is a huge seat that will see strong campaigning across the region.

Mr Wright outlines Labor's "plan to win" in a video on the party's website.

It takes a crack at the media as well as admitting that Labor has to outperform the Liberals in key marginal areas, "not just the ones held by our own local members but also ones held by the Coalition".

"In Queensland we know people are sick of Campbell Newman's cuts, so Leichhardt, Flynn, Dawson and Herbert are huge seats for us and we will see strong campaigns in all of them," he said.

Mr Wright's words echo that of Flynn candidate Chris Trevor, who said the electorate was a "must win" seat for Labor.

Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd has held the seat for the last three years, winning it from Mr Trevor with a 5.8% swing to the LNP in 2010.

It came as no surprise to either the Fight for the Reef campaigners or the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) that Environment Minister Mark Butler shelved a decision on the Abbot Point Coal Terminal dredging project until after the September 7 election.

QRC director Michael Roche said he looked forward to the incoming Environment Minister making a decision on the project shortly after being sworn in.

"It was always going to be difficult for (Minister Butler) to make a calm and reasoned decision in the hothouse political environment of an election campaign," he said.

"The environmental extremists have run a very deceitful campaign against this proposal, because if they can block the dredging they can block the port expansion, and if they can block the port expansion they can block new mines that need that port capacity."

Fight for the Reef campaigner and WWF Australia spokesperson Richard Leck said the minister's announcement showed he was taking a thorough and detailed approach to a decision that was critical for the future of the Great Barrier Reef.

Australian Marine Conservation Society spokesperson Felicity Wishart said dredging and dumping in the Reef World Heritage Area should be a thing of the past.

But Mr Roche said the dredging program was small scale and would not dredge coral reef or seagrass areas.

"There will be incremental development and incremental dredging, only as mines are given the go-ahead," Mr Roche said.



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