Minister Hunt’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park announcement an important step towards a complete ban on dumping



Posted on 12 November 2014
A small island and fringing reef seen from the air. Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
A small island and fringing reef seen from the air. Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
© WWF / James Morgan
WWF-Australia tonight said the Federal Government's proposed ban on the dumping of dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was an important step towards a complete halt to this damaging practice throughout the entire Reef World Heritage Area.
 
Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt announced the proposed ban at the World Parks Congress in Sydney.
 
"We congratulate Mr Hunt for continued progress on an issue that is of deep concern to the vast majority of Australians," said WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O'Gorman.
 
"It is no longer acceptable to simply use the Reef as a dump.
 
"More than 80% of dumping since 2010 has occurred outside the Marine Park but within the World Heritage Area where it can easily drift onto coral and seagrass.
 
"The World Heritage Committee meeting will be held in June next year.
 
“As we get closer to this crucial event, we urge the Government to build on this and announce a full ban on dumping in the entire Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area
 
"Australians want strong laws to protect the entire World Heritage Area, not just the Marine Park.”
 
WWF-Australia Media Contact: Daniel Rockett, National Media Manager, +61 (0)432 206 592, @DRock1978
 
Notes to editors:
 
Marine Park v World Heritage Area:
  • The marine park does not include about 3,600 square kilometres including port exclusion areas.
  • A ban in the marine park still allows for millions of cubic metres of spoil to be dumped where plumes can easily drift onto coral and seagrass.
  • Of the nearly 6.4 million cubic metres of spoil dumped since 2010, around 84% (about 5.4 million cubic metres) has been dumped outside the Marine Park but in the World Heritage Area. 

WWF is calling on all parties to said all major parties to adopt the following solutions:
  • Ban industrial dumping and minimise dredging in the Reef World Heritage Area
  • Stop farm chemical pollution triggering Crown-of-Thorns Starfish plagues
  • Protect Reef catchment and coasts from further clearing, dam-building and degradation
  • Invest over $1bn to transition industries and communities to viable, Reef-friendly futures
  • Rebuild the Reef Champion – a stronger, independent and well-resourced Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
A small island and fringing reef seen from the air. Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
A small island and fringing reef seen from the air. Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
© WWF / James Morgan Enlarge