The Courier-Mail

Miners claim senator’s dodgy dredge claims don’t add up

- JOHN MCCARTHY

IN STUNNING ignorance of geographic­al fact, a Greens senator has claimed the Adani coal project would “dig up’’ the Great Barrier Reef.

Senator Larissa Waters has been accused of being “fast and loose’’ with the truth and living in a bubble after a series of wild allegation­s against Adani.

“(This project) is a climate disaster and it’s economical­ly not going to stack up so they should not start digging up the Great Barrier Reef for a project nobody wants to fund,” she told ABC Radio.

The claim went unchalleng­ed by ABC announcer Steve Austin, who left it to the mining industry to point out that the closest point to the Reef that will be dredged is 53km away from any coral.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche was scathing.

“I challenge the Senator for Queensland to move out- WAY OFF: Greens Senator Larissa Waters, who has been slammed for saying the Great Barrier Reef will be ‘dug up’. side her inner Brisbane bubble and go and talk to people in communitie­s such as Townsville and Mackay that very much want the Galilee Basin projects to proceed,’’ he said.

“These communitie­s are desperate for the thousands of constructi­on and operationa­l jobs. Contrary to her claims on ABC Radio, no proposal for developmen­t of Abbot Point port ever involved ‘digging up the reef’.

“Senator Waters continues to perpetuate the myth that the dredge material at Abbot Point will be dumped at sea. In fact, as she should well know, the dredge material will be placed on unused port land.”

Adani said Senator Waters’ comments were illinforme­d and irresponsi­ble.

But a spokeswoma­n for the Senator’s office said she was referring to the dredging footprint which is inside the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

“The reef is the Great Bar- rier Reef World Heritage Area,” the spokeswoma­n said. “The entire area has World Heritage status, including the part the Queensland Government proposes to dredge.’’

Senator Waters also told ABC Radio that Adani has had multiple breaches of laws in its home nation of India.

The Federal Government has indicated that it could help pay some of the costs for the project’s 300km rail line from the Galilee Basin to Abbot Point.

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