Abbot Point
Abbot Point Contributed

No dredge spoil on reef with LNP or ALP

DREDGE spoil will not be dumped in the Great Barrier Reef no matter which party wins the next election.

The Labor Party has announced it will prohibit the "sea-based disposal of capital dredge spoil within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area".

Deputy premier Jeff Seeney said this move was in line with LNP's policy.

Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said the party's position would protect the reef from offshore dredge spoil dumping for new or expanded port facilities.

"The Great Barrier Reef is our greatest natural wonder, and Labor is determined to protect it for generations to come," she said.

"Not only is it a great natural wonder it's also vital to existing and future jobs with reef tourism delivering $6 billion to the economy each year including $5.2 billion through the tourist industry.

Speaking on the ABC, Mr Seeney said stopping dumping in the World Heritage Area had bipartisan support.

"I think we can have a bipartisan approach to protecting the Great Barrier Reef and that is the way it should be, it shouldn't be a political football," he said.

"I think everybody in Queensland and everybody in Australia wants protect the Great Barrier Reef and we've got a common policy position we can have a bipartisan approach to doing just that."

However, Shadow Environment Minister Jackie Trad said the LNP's plan was failing the reef.

"What (Premier Campbell) Newman fails to mention is under his plan current proposals to dump more than 10 million cubic metres of dredge spoil in the World Heritage Area could go ahead," she said.

But the prohibition on dumping would not change the Labor Party's support for the Abbot Point expansion, Ms Palaszczuk said.

"Labor recognises the importance of port facilities to our economy. More than two-thirds of Queensland's exports are shipped from ports in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area," she said.

"That's why, where a port expansion involving dredging is necessary, Labor will mandate the beneficial reuse of dredge spoil such as land reclamation in port development areas, or disposal on land."

- APN NEWSDESK



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