The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) and the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO) have joined Ecotourism Australia in expressing their disappointment following the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s decision to allow the dumping of 3.5 million cubic metres of port dredge from Abbot Point Coal Port into the waters of the world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.
QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind said QTIC supports economic development of Queensland’s four pillar economy and the benefits that port development will provide.
“As the State’s peak body for tourism, QTIC affirms its strong position that the interests of the tourism industry must remain significant and a priority alongside other government interests, particularly in regard to port development and the environmental protection of the Great Barrier Reef,” Mr Gschwind said.
“QTIC has joined with the marine tourism industry which is also vehemently opposed to the dumping of the dredge spoil in the marine park. Alternatives have been advocated, including the construction of trestle loading facilities that would not require dredging. Our concerns focus on the potential impact on water quality from the suspension and re-suspension of the dredge material, sedimentation of adjacent reefs and coastlines, impact on the broader ecosystem and also the reputational impact from such action.”, he added.
AMPTO published their submission on the Great Barrier Reef strategic assessment on Friday 31st January following the announcement. The organisation declared to be “extremely disappointed” in the Draft Strategic Assessment.
“The document totally fails to address the holistic and cumulative effects of proposed infrastructure works and services associated with the mining boom on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). In our opinion to have the document say that the effects of dredging are a moderate threat is inconceivable and totally ignores reality. Unfortunately, it would appear that it is almost inevitable that AMPTO is heading towards major conflict, political action and potentially legal challenges with the GBRMPA over dredging.”
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