Australian agency allows sand dump near Barrier Reef

Project will createworld’s biggest coal port possibly worth €18 billion

Mounds of coal can be seen along the coastline of Queensland at the port of Hay Point, located around 450 km southeast of the city of Townsville. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef watchdog gave the green light today for millions of cubic metres of dredged mud to be dumped near the fragile reef to create the world’s biggestcoal port. Photograph: Greenpeace/Patrick Hamilton/Handout via Reuters

Mounds of coal can be seen along the coastline of Queensland at the port of Hay Point, located around 450 km southeast of the city of Townsville. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef watchdog gave the green light today for millions of cubic metres of dredged mud to be dumped near the fragile reef to create the world’s biggestcoal port. Photograph: Greenpeace/Patrick Hamilton/Handout via Reuters

 

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef watchdog gave the green light today for millions of cubic metres of dredged mud to be dumped near the fragile reef to create the world’s biggest coal port and possibly unlock AUS$28 billion (€18 billion) in coal projects.

The dumping permit approval clears the way for a major expansion of the port of Abbot Point for Indian firms Adani Enterprises and GVK Power and Infrastructure and Australian billionaire miner Gina Rinehart.

Together they have $16 billion worth of coal projects in the untapped, inland Galilee Basin.

“It’s important to note the seafloor of the approved disposal area consists of sand, silt and clay and does not contain coral reefs or seagrass beds,” the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority said.

Environmentalists, scientists and tourist operators had fought the plan, which they fear will harm delicate corals and seagrasses and potentially double the ship traffic through the World Heritage marine park.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.