Former reef authority chair concerned about dredge spoil

A FORMER chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has expressed deep reservations about the decision to dump dredge spoil into the waters of the World Heritage area.

The authority last week approved the dumping to allow for the expansion of the Abbot Point coal terminal near Mackay. can expand.

The ABC reports Graeme Kelleher was appointed chairman and CEO of GBRMPA in 1979 and served in the position for 16 years.

He said when Environment Minister Greg Hunt approved the dredging program for the Abbot Point coal terminal's expansion, he thought there would be immense pressure on GBRMPA to issue a dredging permit.

"My worst fears were confirmed," he said.

"I thought having already received approval to the dredging and dumping from the relevant minister in the Commonwealth Government, it would take significant courage and determination by the representative of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to refuse to issue a permit under the act, so I did foresee it, but I sincerely hoped an alternative could be found."

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