GREENS Senator Larissa Waters will host a public meeting in Gladstone tonight to discuss the future of the Great Barrier Reef, and the tourism and fishing industries that depend on it.

Senator Waters said the rash of port developments planned for the coastline could result in 55 Melbourne Cricket Grounds worth of dredging, with some of the dredge spoil dumped in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, and more than one ship per hour travelling through the reef.

"The United Nation has warned that the reef could soon lose its World Heritage status if these risks are not addressed," she said.

Senator Waters is touring Central Queensland to meet with coastal community members, commercial fishers and small business owners to discuss with them the impact of dredging, dumping and shipping for new and expanded coal ports.

"I am looking forward to hearing their stories, and to working with all of these groups to help build a long-term, sustainable economy for coastal Queenslanders based around a healthy Great Barrier Reef," she said.

The meeting will be held at the Gladstone City Central Apartment Hotel, 66 Oaka Lane, from 6pm.



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