Labor backs Greens against dumping dredge spoil on Reef

LABOR has backed a Greens motion for the Senate to get Environment Minister Greg Hunt to revoke his approval of the dumping of dredge spoil at Abbot Point.

The motion, passed by the Senate on Tuesday, was made in light of documents that revealed on Monday the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority had originally opposed the development.

While the authority has said the approval would not have been given without the 47 strict conditions it imposed, the documents showed a difference of opinion between internal staff and senior managers at the authority.

The Greens' Senator Larissa Waters said the Senate motion sent a "strong message" that Mr Hunt's approval, and the authority's approval, were unacceptable.

"Minister Hunt has been telling us that the damage from the Abbot Point dumping can be offset but documents released under freedom of information this week show that's simply not the case," she said.

"The documents show the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority found that it would be impossible to offset the damage because it was too great."

While Labor supported the motion, Opposition environment spokesman Mark Butler's office did not respond to questions regarding its support for the motion.

Mr Hunt's office has not yet responded to requests for comment on the matter.


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