Unforeseen Danger to the Reef [Unforeseen – Really!!]

reef fish and plant lifeGuess what folks the Great Barrier Reef is in imminent danger due to the rising water levels.  Doesn’t make sense yet well then lets add Clive Palmers Nickel Refinery and the fact that the Queensland Government allowed him to store hundreds of litres of toxic waste in pools that are now threatening to overflow directly into the reef. Is ANYONE surprised by this occurrence?

The only question I have is why on earth the government hasn’t stepped in earlier to demand he cease work until he treats the waste in the pool and at the very least increase the dam walls to prevent what is now going to happen if levels rise only a little more. [and we have yet to receive the runoff from the flooding up North].

Even the Queensland Environmental minister is now saying they should have taken a harder line much earlier – yeah like when it would have helped!!  The Australian Greens Senator Larissa Waters had this to say:

This is what you get when Tony Abbott chooses to ignore the climate science, entrust the reef to Campbell Newman and allow a coal billionaire to put his profits ahead of protecting a World Heritage Area

tailing pondsQueensland Nickel has now ceased work [voluntarily] but the question of why the government didn’t order a stop work notice a year ago when the danger was first raised and why they have spent a year asking nicely for the changes needed still remains. What I am also curious about is how these ponds were approved in the first place as they would feed directly into the reef if a spill occurs.

Mr Palmer is trying to redirect attention by accusing the Qld government [not very loyal to those who helped him is he] of making trouble and trying to prove problems where none exist.  Even though Qld Nickel has closed voluntarily Mr Palmer has attempted to make it appear as if the government ordered this and that it is an over reaction to a situation that doesn’t really exist.

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This is somewhat at odds with the fact that is stopped operations on Friday [without notifying anyone] when 300 mm of rain threatened to create a spill. A spokesperson from the department made this statement after visiting the site on Monday.

The Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) at the Yabulu refinery has reached its capacity following heavy rain in the Townsville area,” a spokesperson from the Department said in a statement. As a result, water is flowing over the spillway into a downstream water management system.

This shows a complete lack of regard for environmental planning and I fully agree with the Greens Senators statement that:

Mr Palmer needs to stop seeing the Reef as his own personal waste dump, and should instead use some of his billions to treat the water in the tailings ponds to reduce the volume of waste, and immediately begin to increase the height of the tailings dam walls.


7 thoughts on “Unforeseen Danger to the Reef [Unforeseen – Really!!]

  1. When will gov’ts learn that even though their old boy networks may fund their election, when push comes to shove business men will look out only for the bottom line. Failure to keep them in line from the beginning will only result in mega damage and huge clean up costs borne by the public. Thanks Jenni.


  2. Pingback: Update on Nickel Waste Spill into the Reef. | Unload and Unwind

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