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Turtles are among the species that could be harmed by dredging, even under the government’s new dredge dumping rules. AAP Image/University of QLD

Six ways Australia is selectively reporting to the UN on the Great Barrier Reef

The Australian government’s latest report on the Great Barrier Reef, submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre last Friday, has been carefully crafted and word-smithed, with many of its claims supported…
Flying over Green Island on the Great Barrier Reef. Kiyo/Flickr

The plan to save the Great Barrier Reef is destined to fail unless …

The Great Barrier Reef is in trouble, and a draft government plan to ensure its survival does not go far enough. A number of submissions including those from the Australian Academy of Science and Environmental…
Much of the Great Barrier Reef is in poor health. Scientists have called for dredging decisions at Abbot Point to be reopened. Flickr/Robert Linsdell

Abbot Point dredging debate needs to be reopened: experts

Approval for dumping dredge spoil within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park at Abbot Point could be reopened, with port developers…
Tony Abbott may have planted a few trees, but he’s also sought to bury many of Australia’s environmental safeguards. Britta Campion/AAPImage

Abbott’s environment agenda is even harsher than he promised

Before the 2013 election, Tony Abbott gave us fair warning that he would turn the clock back on the environment. As promised, his government has devoted itself to short-term economics and the sort of hardline…
Healthy coral on the Great Barrier Reef. New research shows that corals exposed to dredging have increased risk of disease. dion gillard/Flickr

Dredge spoil linked to coral disease, WA study shows

Dredging has a direct impact on coral health, according to a study published today in PLoS ONE that shows for the first time…
A report criticising government oversight of a major Gladstone harbour dredging project has warned against cutting resources for environmental monitoring and compliance. Flickr/GreensMPs

Environmental job cuts risk a repeat of Gladstone failures

A long-awaited report on environmental failures at the biggest port along the Great Barrier Reef coastline and today’s federal budget may not seem connected – but if you read the report, it’s clear just…
The United Nations is concerned about port expansions and dredging disposal in the Great Barrier Reef – but that bigger picture is ignored in new ‘Reef Facts’ commercials. Image courtesy NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL, MISR Team

Great Barrier Reef ‘facts’ TV ads ignore dredge dumping risks

New “Reef Facts” commercials are currently airing during prime-time television shows in Australia, purporting to tell the “facts” about the environmental health of the Great Barrier Reef. It comes amid…
Bigger picture: the Great Barrier Reef seen from the Landsat satellite. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Wikimedia Commons

The battle over Abbot Point risks losing the Great Barrier Reef war

“Save the reef” has become a popular catch-cry among many environment groups, with Greenpeace’s Great Barrier Reef website shared more than 125,000 times on social media to date. It and many similar campaigns…
Coral bleaching is one of the more obvious signs the Great Barrier Reef is in trouble. mattk1979/Flickr

Is Australia shooting itself in the foot with reef port expansions?

With the approval of dredging as part of the Abbot Point port expansion, Australia has given the green light to an increase in coal exports. While opposition to the plan has focused primarily on the effects…
Protesters are furious at recent decisions over the Great Barrier Reef, but how much power does its official guardian have? AAP Image/Supplied by Greenpeace

Reef authority caught between the devil and the deep blue sea

Seeing the fierce debate sparked by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority chairman’s recent article on The Conversation about the Abbot Point coal port expansion, I can sympathise with the dilemma…
Already operating as a coal port, the disposal of dredge material from expanding Abbot Point is now the subject of a legal challenge. GBRMPA

Let’s dump Great Barrier Reef dredging myths: authority chief

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s recent decision to allow 3 million cubic metres of dredge material to be disposed of 25 kilometres off Abbot Point in north Queensland has attracted passionate…
Greg Hunt, and all environment ministers past and future, could be protected from legal challenge over mining approvals. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Australia’s environment minister could soon be above the law

Earlier this month, a Senate inquiry paved the way for the Parliament to give Environment Minister Greg Hunt legal immunity against future legal challenges to his decisions on mining projects. If it passes…
Australia A m.

Reef madness: the Abbot Point decision makes no sense

Perhaps it’s the record breaking relentless damp and drizzle. Perhaps it’s symptomatic of a more seasonal adjustment malaise. But when I heard of today’s decision by the Great Barrier Reef Authority to…
Fragile beauty: the Great Barrier Reef. Flickr/Paul D'Ambra - Australia

Australia courting danger with the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has announced it will allow the dumping of three million cubic metres of dredge spoil from the Abbot Point port redevelopment within the marine park’s boundaries…
Dredging at Abbot Point will create three million cubic metres of spoil. AAP

There is no need to dump Abbot Point’s dredge spoil on the reef

By the end of this week we will know whether the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority will allow dredge spoil from the Abbot Point port redevelopment to be dumped within the park’s boundaries. The…
A scuba diving tourist feeds a giant potato cod in the Great Barrier Reef. Pete Niesen/Shutterstock.com

Dredging set to swamp decades of Great Barrier Reef protection

After decades of work, A$200 million in taxpayer funding and even more from farmers' pockets, we finally have a rare good news story to tell about the Great Barrier Reef. Thanks to an extraordinary effort…

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