Federal Government attempts to spin its way past Gladstone harbour debacle

Published: October 26, 2011

Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, has put his name to possibly the most blatant piece of hypocrisy in the country by writing an introduction to an lift-out into Gladstone's local newspaper.

The lift-out is entitled "Reef Guardians" and Mr Burke talks about all the wonderful things the federal government is doing on the Great Barrier Reef overlooking the fact that it was his approval of the massive construction in Gladstone harbour, especially the dredging to allow LNG tankers into the port, that is undoubtedly one of the prime causes of the current threats to the environment.

Mr Burke also approved the dumping of toxic spoil in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area.

Lock the Gate Alliance presdient Drew Hutton said Mr Burke will not be allowed to spin his way out of his responsibility for what is happening to this precious area.

"Tony Burke's legacy to the Great Barrier Reef will be dead dugongs, turtles and dolphins as well as diseased fish,' Mr Hutton said.

"The forthcoming UNESCO investigation of the management program of the Reef must examine how the dredging and construction activities that he allowed to occur in Gladstone harbour align with our international obligations including the World Heritage Convention, the Japan-Australia Migratory Birds Agreement, China-Australia Migratory Birds Agreement, Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, Convention on Conservation of Nature in the South Pacific (APIA Convention), and Conservation Aspects of the South Pacific Regional Environment Program."

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