Law Reform · Nature & the Reef

Have your say on the protection of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area

23 June, 2015

EDO Qld has been working with WWF and AMCS on the Sustainable Ports Development Bill 2015 ("the Ports Bill") which was introduced into the Queensland Parliament earlier this month.

The purpose of the Ports Bill is to: "provide for the protection of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area through managing port-related development in and adjacent to the area".

The Ports Bill is just one tool in the implementation of the ALP pre-election Reef commitments and Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan.

An overview of the Bill is available here

We congratulate the government on implementing a number of its commitments to protect the Reef through the Ports Bill. While the protections the bill puts in place are laudable, there are a number of omissions, including some notable ALP commitments, which must be addressed to maximise the utility of the Ports Bill in protecting the Great Barrier Reef. In broad summary these include:

  1. A ban on transhipping, as promised;
  2. The ban on offshore dumping of dredge spoil should be fully implemented, as promised;
  3. Restrictions on dredging and development of port facilities must be extended to Great Barrier Reef Marine Park;
  4. Dredging and dumping for other types of development on the Great Barrier Reef coastline should be restricted;
  5. Protection of the Greater Fitzroy Delta must be ensured, as promised
  6. Master planning should be improved;
  7. Accountability and transparency in governance must be implemented, as promised;
  8. Compensation should be more limited than provided for in the bill.

Have your say with our easy-to-use template

The committee is currently seeking public submissions on the Ports Bill. Before 4:00pm Thursday 2 July 2015, simply:

1) Download our TEMPLATE.

2) Add your details and opinions;

3) Send to ipnrc@parliament.qld.gov.au;

4) Let us know you made a submission, but please do not distribute your submission until advised by the committee.

Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO Qld) gives a strong legal voice to the environment when needed most.