Curtis Island.
Curtis Island.

Arrow CSG project points to problems for Great Barrier Reef

THE imminent state government approval of a massive gas pipeline to service Arrow Energy's proposed coal seam gas project in Queensland threatens the future of the Great Barrier Reef, the Australian Marine Conservation Society has warned.

AMCS reef campaigner Felicity Wishart said the Queensland Government statement announcing that the pipeline would be approved showed the government had a "development-at-all-costs" approach to the protection of the reef.

The huge gas project proposes an LNG facility - which has not yet been approved by the federal government - to be built on Curtis Island in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Ms Wishart said the state's announcement was an effort to put more pressure on Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke to approve the export facility, despite directions not to from the United Nations World Heritage Committee.

"I've just been sailing through Gladstone; we came down through the Fitzroy Delta and the Narrows, and it was a real shock when we arrived in Gladstone and saw what's happening there," she said.

"I hadn't been to Gladstone for years, but seeing it yesterday it was a real shock after coming through the relatively pristine environment of the Fitzroy Delta and Port Alma areas."

Ms Wishart said it was clear the Gladstone Harbour environment was under serious environmental stress, but there did not seem to be any real oversight of the management of the harbour.

"It's death by a thousand cuts, if not more, for the harbour and the whole reef, and if this Arrow Energy project gets up, it'll be just another nail in the coffin," she said.

Aerial of the Great Barrier Reef.
Aerial of the Great Barrier Reef. C Veron

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