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Save the Reef to give evidence at Brisbane Senate Hearing today

Evidence that successive governments covered up the environmental disaster in Gladstone Harbour and its causes, will be provided to the Senate hearing by Save the Reef.

The group’s spokesperson, Dr Libby Connors said both the Bligh and Newman government failed to regulate the Gladstone Port Corporation - a government-owned organization - and this led to an ecocide in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage waters. 

Since the Gladstone Harbour disaster, a groundswell of community and international concern about dredging and dumping in World Heritage waters has grown.  It has in part led to UNESCO threatening to place the Great Barrier Reef on the World Heritage "In Danger" list.
“The LNP could have exposed Labor's mismanagement of the harbour and been seen as protectors of the reef, but instead continued the cover up and approved further projects and became seen as party willing to damage the World Heritage area,” Dr Connors said.  “The evidence may give some insights into why voters were so dissatisfied with the Newman government at Saturday's election.”  

Dr Connors said it was time the LNP senators cooperated with the enquiry so they could learn from past, serious mistakes.
"Save the Reef will highlight failings of both the Bligh and Newman governments regarding lack of transparency, and the preferential treatment they gave to multinational corporations," she said.

Also of concern was the political bias of the public service which acted according to the wishes of the government of the day, not in the interests of the environment and Queenslanders.
"Whichever party forms government in Queensland, the evidence surrounding the mismanagement of Gladstone Harbour contains many lessons on how to lose public confidence."
Medical doctor Dr Andrew Jeremijenko who treated fishermen who became ill after contact with the harbour waters in late 2011 will present medical evidence to show how serious the environmental disaster was.
"Despite a massive fish kill, the collapse of Gladstone's commercial fishery and disease in marine life and humans, no one has ever been held accountable for the disaster," he said.
"That reflects badly on both the Bligh and the Newman governments at the state level and the Rudd-Gillard and Abbott governments at the federal level."
Dr Connors and Dr Jeremijenko will address the hearing from 1.45pm to 2.30pm tomorrow at the Mercure hotel in Brisbane.

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