Environment groups demand release of reef conflict report

ENVIRONMENT groups have called on Minister Greg Hunt to release the full report of the inquiry into possible conflicts of interest on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

The inquiry, headed by former Commonwealth public servant Robert Cornall, was released yesterday and cleared two members of the GBRMPA board of having material conflicts of interest.

Those board members, Jon Grayson and Tony Mooney, had maintained they were not conflicted, despite Mr Mooney being employed by a mining company, and Mr Grayson listed as a director of a company called Gasfields Water and Waste Services.

While the inquiry has cleared the board, environmental groups have called for the release of the full, un-redacted report.

Greenpeace campaigner Louise Mathieson said the inquiry has taken a "very narrow, legalistic view of the situation"; saying any links to coal or gas companies should not be tolerated on the board.

"It is a matter of public record that Tony Mooney and Jon Grayson have financial links to coal and gas companies that could benefit from developments that may harm the reef," she said.

"If this does not constitute a conflict of interest it would be interesting to know what does."

Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters said such links, even if they had been declared, were "still inappropriate".

"The independence of GBRMPA is also compromised by political pressure and the threat of funding cuts under the Abbott government's Commission of Audit, which could have led GBRMPA to approve offshore sludge dumping for Abbot Point despite their own research into the damage it can do to the reef," she said.

While Mr Hunt has not yet released the full report, APN understands the minister's office is preparing to release it in coming days.