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Statement from Queensland Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Green environment spokesperson, and former environmental lawyer with EDO Queensland:

“I congratulate the EDO Northern Queensland and the North Queensland community for their dedication to protecting the Great Barrier Reef.

“Across Australia, people have been outraged by the Abbott Government treating the Reef like merely a highway for coal and gas, with destructive mining and port developments the length of the Reef, including the latest decision to allow dredge spoil to be dumped in this World Heritage Area to build the world’s largest coal port at Abbot Point.

“The Greens welcome the case being taken by clients of the EDO Queensland to challenge that Abbot Point offshore dumping decision, and we welcome all additional efforts by EDO NQ to protect the Reef.

“In North Queensland, where so many community members share a close personal connection with the Reef and even rely on it for their livelihood, the Abbott Government’s decisions are incredibly damaging.

“The Abbott Government continues to fail the Great Barrier Reef and North Queensland’s sustainable tourism and fishing industries by putting the big mining companies first.

“With this pace of damaging development approvals, the Abbott Government is putting the Reef at risk of having its status downgraded to ‘In Danger’ when the World Heritage Committee meets in June.

“The Greens are working in the federal Parliament to save the Great Barrier Reef from a World Heritage ‘In Danger’ listing

. “Last week, I introduced a bill to the federal Parliament to ban offshore dumping in the Reef and to adopt the World Heritage Committee’s recommendations to save the Reef from an ‘In Danger’ listing, including limiting damaging port developments.

“The Greens will continue to stand with the community and organisations like EDO Northern Queensland and EDO Queensland to protect our Great Barrier Reef from becoming a shipping super highway and sludge dumping ground for the big mining companies.

“Despite the Abbott and Newman governments cutting all EDO funding, the EDOs in Queensland are overcoming the odds to work to protect the Great Barrier Reef on behalf of the community,” Senator Waters said.

Great Barrier Reef, Northern Queensland, Australia