Hunt confirms plans to move away from reef dumping
PLANS to dump three million cubic metres of material into the Great Barrier Reef area look set to be scrapped and replaced with a land based option.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt confirmed this morning that North Queensland Bulk Ports, GVK Hancock and Adani Group will re-submit a proposal for his consideration.
Mr Hunt claimed he had 'drawn a line in the sand' amid community outrage over the plans.
The Minister would not declare his support for the land based option yet on ABC radio but said it would be considered on the basis of federal environmental laws.
But he said the government had worked hard to reduce the amount of material that had been proposed to be dumped under the previous government.
The Fight for the Reef Facebook page this morning stated that this was a 'significant win'.
"Significant win! Thank you to all our supporters who emailed Greg Hunt, emailed or called GBRMPA and joined the battle against sea dumping," the post said.
"Fight continues >> we need to stop the expansion of Abbot Point coal port, dredging and increased shipping that will harm the Reef."
Last week environmental groups congratulated Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen for admitting he "got it wrong" on the dumping of dredge spoil from the Abbot Point coal terminal expansion.
However, Mr Christensen said what some environmentalists were reading into his comments was "rubbish".
Mr Christensen ran an advertisement in last week's edition of the Whitsunday Coast Guardian saying, "I got it wrong".
"I didn't foresee the angst the dumping of dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef marine park would cause tourism operators and the residents of the Whitsundays," he said in the advertisement.
He also said he had been speaking with North Queensland Bulk Ports about land-based options for the disposal of dredge spoil.
Environmental groups welcomed his statement.