High pro­file guests to speak at Reef Hour on Hamit­lon Is­land

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

THE Aus­tralian Marine Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety (AMCS) is bring­ing two high pro­file speak­ers to a com­mu­nity event on Hamil­ton Is­land next Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 9, as part of the on­go­ing cam­paign to ban the dump­ing of dredge ma­te­rial in the Great Bar­rier Reef.

Tim Buckley, a world-class risk an­a­lyst from the In­sti­tute for En­ergy Eco­nomics and Fi­nan­cial Anal­y­sis (IEEFA), and Adam Smith of Reef Eco­logic and for­merly of the Great Bar­rier Reef Marine Park Au­thor­ity (GBRMPA), will join Whit­sun­day tourism op­er­a­tors to dis­cuss con­cerns about the en­vi­ron­men­tal and eco­nomic risks of port de­vel­op­ment and dredg­ing and dump­ing.

AMCS cam­paigner Cherry Mud­dle said Mr Buckley was a lead­ing ex­pert on the risks of po­ten­tially stranded as­sets that could oc­cur from fail­ing to ac­knowl­edge over-ca­pac­ity in Queens­land ports. She said he was also well­versed in the fore­cast peak in global seaborne de­mand for ther­mal coal at cur­rent lev­els.

“Ab­bot Point has only been op­er­at­ing at be­low 40 per cent per an­num for the last four years. Even re­cently im­proved through­put has the port op­er­at­ing at only 60 per cent uti­liza­tion [so] it is fool­ish to dredge and dump and to build new port ter­mi­nals when the cur­rent port through­put is well be­low ca­pac­ity,” she said.

“We are also ex­cited to have Dr Smith, for­merly of GBRMPA, to ad­dress com­mu­nity con­cerns over the man­age­ment of the Reef and so­lu­tions to ad­e­quately pro­tect [it].”

The ‘Reef Hour’ will be held at the Hamil­ton Is­land Yacht Club, start­ing at 6pm.

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