The Coalition Government is already putting an end to the disposal of capital dredging in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
We announced this policy in December 2013 – less than three months after coming into government.
When we announced our policy position last year, we flagged the end of a century-old practice.
We made it clear that we’ve drawn a line in the sand.
With both state and federal Labor having previously supported disposal in the Marine Park, we welcome reports of a shift to follow the Coalition policy.
We inherited five major proposals from Labor to dispose of dredge spoil in the Marine Park, and have reduced that to zero.
Labor had the chance and failed to do it. We have already fixed the problem.
Labor advanced plans for dumping in the Marine Park as part of the Abbot Point project with 33 preliminary approvals.
We worked with the Abbot Point proponents to find a better way and plans for onshore disposal are currently undergoing environmental assessments.
In addition, we have already announced in the Reef 2050 Plan a ban on capital dredge disposal in the Marine Park and we are working with the Partnership group, which involves industry, community and conservation groups on how that could be strengthened to be legally binding.
Protecting the Great Barrier Reef is a challenge we must work together on as a community and one which this government has as a priority.
The Australian and Queensland governments are jointly investing approximately $180 million a year in the reef’s health – that’s billions of dollars over the next decade.
The Government is committed to the long-term protection of the Great Barrier Reef as one of Australia’s greatest natural icons – and a vital asset for tourism and jobs in Queensland and Australia.
We have a clear plan and a strong commitment to ensure the reef is healthy and resilient – and we are making strong progress.