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Gladstone confirms that it wants out of Reef Heritage Area

IHS Fairplay says the Port of Gladstone in Australia has confirmed it is seeking to have itself removed from the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Gladstone Ports Corp sent a letter to federal MPs in December 2011 and has now released a statement putting forward its arguments for the change. “Having World Heritage Status over a massive commercial harbour is akin to having a nature conservation zone declaration over [a shopping mall],” GPC CEO Leo Zussino said in the statement. The World Heritage Area should instead align with the boundaries of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which ends offshore, he said. GPC is dredging as part of its scheme to build the Curtis Island LNG facility near the port. Greens blame this dredging for a major increase in fish disease and death at the port in recent month. GPC said scientific tests have cleared the dredging of causing this spike, but the Australian Greens party responded by saying dredging should never have been allowed in a World Heritage Area in the first place. Zussino responded: “If the Greens sway public opinion, then the option of realigning the World Heritage [Area] boundaries with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park boundaries must be considered.”

Date:January 9, 2012                                                   Source : Offshore dredging Online


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