So-called Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has approved the construction of three new coal loading terminals at Abbott Point and a gas processing plant on Curtis Island north of Gladstone in Queensland. The projects involve dredging 3 million cubic metres of seabed, which will probably be dumped in the nearby Great Barrier Reef Marine National Park.
Water quality is already a significant problem for the Reef due to pollutants from agricultural run-off through river systems, resulting in damage to corals and sea grass. The Reef’s coral coverage has actually declined by a half in the last decade or more.
Thankfully help is now at hand, as apparently the massive dumping of dredged soil will, according to Hero Hunt, actually improve ocean water quality. Yep, all is well, because of his compensatory “offsets’’. Reducing run-off pollutants combined with dumping will actually improve water quality by 150%! Finance Minister Mathias Cormann: ”we are actually making things better”. Of course!
No matter that Reef scientists say this is impossible. The accuracy and certainty of the government’s 150% figure is impressive. When our leaders say that Australia is open for business they mean it. Hopefully UNESCO will be good sports too and avoid putting the Reef on their ‘’World Heritage in Danger’’ list. Thanks Greg, for saving our reef with industrial over-development and massive pollution: you’re a saviour, who would’ve thought?
Eric Blair (aka George Orwell) must be spinning in his grave, with the outright lies and abuse of political language which are the hallmarks of Abbott and his merry band even as they assume the reins of power. Abbott Point indeed!