The Coalition Government has built on its proud tradition of protecting and sustainably managing the Great Barrier Reef, it was revealed during Question Time in the Senate today.
Northern-based Senator Ian Macdonald got clarification from the Minister for the Environment – represented in the Senate by Senator Simon Birmingham - on the measures being taken by the Government to protect the Reef.
“I was told that the Environment Minister has this week announced a 100 per cent ban on capital dredge material disposal in the entire Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
“This significant step protects the whole 345,000sqkm World Heritage Area and delivers on the Abbott Government’s commitment to ending this century-old practice,” said Senator Macdonald.
“In 2013 we inherited from the Labor Government five major proposals for the dumping of dredge spoil in the marine park.
“Curiously, that Labor government was kept in power by the Greens Political Party who, despite their influence over Labor, did little to protect the Reef.
“It took a Coalition government to reduce dumping to zero and the ban will ensure that irresponsible Labor/Greens governments in the future will never again be able to resume this damaging practice,” he said.
The capital dredge material disposal ban is part of a comprehensive $2 billion suite of measures to protect the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
These include the $40 million Reef Trust program to enhance ecosystem sustainability, financial incentives for farmers to improve processes and the $10 million crown of Thorns Starfish eradication program.
“The Coalition Government is putting in place the protections that will ensure the health of the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park for future generations,” said Senator Macdonald.