Pro­tect the reef

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY NEWS AND VIEWS - Heidi Ward WHIT­SUN­DAYS

MY HUS­BAND and I have at­tended many in­for­ma­tion meet­ings re­gard­ing the dredg­ing at Ab­bot Point. Whilst we are not against fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of this re­gion or min­ing, we find the pro­posal to build the largest coal port in the world at Ab­bot Point hugely alarm­ing. Dredg­ing and dump­ing mil­lions of tonnes of spoil in the World Her­itage Listed Great Bar­rier Reef Marine Park will cause atro­cious dam­age to our won­der of the reef, our qual­ity of life, and the wildlife.

Tourism in the Whit­sun­days em­ploys ap­prox­i­mately 2200 peo­ple earn­ing the re­gion ap­prox $2 mil­lion dollars a day with 700,000 vis­i­tors fil­ter­ing their money into the lo­cal econ­omy.

The Great Bar­rier Reef is a $6 bil­lion in­dus­try em­ploy­ing 60,000 jobs.

83% of min­ing is for­eign owned and 83% of the prof­its from min­ing go di­rectly over­seas. You can only dig up coal once but if we dredge and dump spoil in the reef’s wa­ters, it could be gone for­ever.

For the fu­ture of the re­gions beauty and econ­omy I urge the com­mu­nity to make them­selves more aware of the detri­men­tal im­pact the dredg­ing will have in the very near fu­ture that could fright­en­ingly ef­fect us all.

We need to pro­tect the reef for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. Tourism is for­ever. And the value of the Great Bar­rier Reef is in­cal­cu­la­ble.

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