Reef body fight
GREEN groups are demanding the resignation of two of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s board members, including former Townsville mayor Tony Mooney, due to their links with mining companies.
ABC’s 7.30 Report last night aired claims Mr Mooney, who works for Guilford Coal, participated in board talks framing ports policy, while the mining company explored options to export coal through Abbot Point.
It comes as Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt is due to visit Bowen today to meet with stakeholders before a decision next month about whether to allow the Abbot Point port expansion to continue.
The ABC also reported Mr Mooney and fellow board member Jon Grayson, who is Queensland’s Cabinet Director-General, had links to NSW’s Obeid family, who are at the centre of a major corruption inquiry.
It was widely reported last year Mr Mooney had received a $5000 donation from the Obeid Corporation for his 2010 election campaign.
Documents t h e ABC obtained under Freedom of I nformation showed Mr Mooney and Mr Grayson helped set GBRMPA’s position on port developments, despite Mr Mooney earning $250,000 a year at Guilford Coal as their manager of stakeholder relations, and Mr Grayson owning shares in a gas services company with Eddie Obeid Jr.
The documents also show the port position statement o r i g i n a l l y proposed by GBRMPA’s own scientists had been significantly watered down at board level, with a clause opposing port developments removed.
The board instead requested more consultation with the mining industry.
‘‘ I think it would greatly increase the confidence that the Australian public and the international community could have in the management of the reef if these two men stepped aside from the board,’’ Louise Mathieson of Greenpeace said.
EXPANSION: the Abbot Point coal facility