Dredging

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The World Heritage Committee has called for a comprehensive assessment not just of the threats to the Great Barrier Reef, but of their cumulative effect. AAP Image/Australian Institute for Marine Science, Ray Berkelmans

Is Australia meeting the UN recommendations for the Great Barrier Reef?

The government says it has met all of the recommendations for safeguarding the Great Barrier Reef. But a close reading of the dozens of UN recommendations shows that many have been only partly fulfilled.
The new Reef 2050 plan is taking the long view on protecting the Great Barrier Reef - but does it have the right vision? Nickj/Wikimedia Commons

Government unveils 2050 Great Barrier Reef plan: experts react

The federal and Queensland governments have unveiled their blueprint for protecting the Great Barrier Reef for future generations. Will the $2 billion plan succeed? Our experts give their verdicts.
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…
The latest report on the health of the Great Barrier Reef shows the reef condition is “poor” Scientific Editor/Flickr

Reef condition is ‘poor’, and probably worse than healthcheck suggests

The latest healthcheck of the Great Barrier Reef shows the overall outlook is “poor”, and getting worse. According to the Outlook Report produced by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, climate…
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…
The Reef Trust discussion paper suggests a focus on eradicating crown-of-thorns and water quality - no mention of climate change or port developments. John Turnbull/Flickr

The $40 million Reef Trust is a good start, but it could be better

In the midst of harsh cuts to Great Barrier Reef management and research, including cuts to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the Department of…
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…
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…
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…
The Queensland government is preparing the way for more coal ports, but there are indications coal production and profits are on the way down. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

If coal’s in trouble, why build more coal ports?

If the Abbot Point expansion is approved by the Commonwealth Environment Minister next month, port dredging will go ahead. Private investment in coal ports and rail may no longer stack up, as BHP Billiton…
The Queensland government has weakened environmental regulations to get more development along the coast. John Harvey

Planning changes to accelerate Queensland coast development

The Newman-led Liberal-National Party (LNP) government in Queensland is aiming to boost economic growth by focusing on development in four areas; agriculture, tourism, mining and residential/commercial/industrial…

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