Australia to dump dredged sand in Great Barrier Reef Park


The Australian federal government has approved a plan to dump 3 million cubic meters of dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef Park. The dredged material will come from the proposed expansion of the coal port at Abbot Point, south of Townsville on the Queensland coast.

Final approval came from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and is subject to “strict conditions.” The proposal, while controversial and opposed by environmental groups including Greenpeace, had already been approved by Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt last month.

Tony Abbott’s government has come under fire for a raft of environmental decisions lately, including an election pledge to rescind expansion of Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed forest reserve which has united environmental campaigners and the forestry industry, who see the plan as unworkable and damaging in the long term.

What a terrible thing to do. :mad:


The size of the park itself is 344,400 sq kl, nearly three times the size of Britain, as large as all of Italy or over half the size of France. You don’t understand big until you live in Australia.The sand is going nowhere near the reef itself. Do you think they would jeopardize a national tourist attraction, and one of the wonders of the world? They are not Visigoths as they are painted by the left wing press.


Apparently these people have never heard of currents. Sand doesn’t just sit on the ocean floor. It is churned about and carried all over the place by strong currents, waves, animals, and even boats.


The Great Eastern Australian current has moved from north to south since recorded history. The sand is being placed south of the reef itself.


I fail to see the problem in dumping sand in the ocean.


Actually most of the reef is south of the “disposal” site.

This sand, which is actually dredge spoil, contains highly toxic chemicals.


The scientific tests taken by the Authority on the sand shows no contaminants whatsoever. The sand is being used for land reclamation and must be dumped only near to shore and only during a few months of each year. The amount of sand is limited to 1.3 million cubic meters in any one year. There are five coal ports that have co-existed with the reef since just after WW2. Silt moved by the currents have been shown by tidal tests to go nowhere near the reefs.
This Green hysteria ignores the facts and would have the $40 billion worth of exports shipped from these ports each year stopped needlessly and would have ourselves living as hunter gathers.


They haven’t conducted any tests yet.

The disposal site is 15.5 miles out to sea.


For a total of 3 million cubic meters to be dumped.

That isn’t really true. Silt plumes are monitored by satellite because they CAN wind up smothering the corals.


Wonder how much sand Hurricane Sandy and the Japanese and Indonesian tsunamis displaced.



So without the tests, how do they know anything about what is contained in the sand?


Dredge spoils typically contain polychlorinated biphenyls, oil, lead, mercury, etc. Even your average sand grains, while fairly innocuous to other animal life, still pose considerable danger to the corals when dumped in large quantities. This has a tendency to form large plumes of silt which come to rest on the corals and kill them by blocking sunlight.


Without tests, no one knows this.

And as stated earlier…
They have not conducted any tests.


I was thinking the same thing. :slight_smile:


As mentioned, even non-toxic sand poses a dire risk to the corals.


In my opinion, this is a stupid and reckless thing to do.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit