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Australia Earth Science

Australia OKs Dumping Dredge Waste In Barrier Reef 277

Posted by samzenpus
from the put-that-anywhere dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has approved the dumping of 3 million cubic meters of dredge waste in park waters. The decision has been blasted by environmentalists. 'This is a sad day for the reef and anyone who cares about its future,' said WWF Great Barrier Reef campaigner Richard Leck. 'The World Heritage Committee will take a dim view of this decision, which is in direct contravention of one of its recommendations.'"
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Australia OKs Dumping Dredge Waste In Barrier Reef

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  • Sign the petition (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 03, 2014 @12:11AM (#46137819)

    This might help:

    https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/coal-seam-gas/unesco-great-barrier-reef

    It's absolutely disgraceful that politicians can be so short sighted as to allow this to happen. It makes my blood boil.

  • As an Australian, (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mjwx (966435) on Monday February 03, 2014 @12:23AM (#46137895)
    I'd like to say I'm categorically not OK with dumping waste here.

    Sadly the state and federal governments are completely ignoring what the majority of the people want.
  • Re:By reef... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LordLucless (582312) on Monday February 03, 2014 @12:38AM (#46137967)

    You do know that if I said I was dumping a million tonnes of rubble on your house, and then actually dumped it 25km away, your house wouldn't be crushed, right? If the currents are able to move silt from the dump site to the reef, then they are already doing so - nothing's being dumped that isn't already there.

    As for Tasmania, almost 50% of the entire state is currently world heritage listed. I don't think de-listing a fraction of a percent of that is going to cause much damage.

  • Re:By reef... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mjwx (966435) on Monday February 03, 2014 @12:39AM (#46137971)

    25 KM will easily be covered by currents.

    Implying that the current flows from the dump site towards the reef?

    Implying that things in the water will only go one way?

    Along with currents you also have sea life and humans that will also move detritus quite easily.

    You might not be familiar with water, but things dumped in the water (especially particulate matter like silt) rarely stays where you dump it.

  • Re:By reef... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) on Monday February 03, 2014 @12:46AM (#46137997)

    And by "reef", they mean a patch of silt 25km away from the actual reef.

    And Deepwater Horizon was 77km (48 miles) from shore. This just in: ocean currents move stuff around.

  • Re:By reef... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spongman (182339) on Monday February 03, 2014 @01:09AM (#46138123)

    Given that matter is significantly more mobile in water it's more like dumping a million tons of crap 25 meters from your house. You'd be ok with that, would you?

  • Re:By reef... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by viperidaenz (2515578) on Monday February 03, 2014 @01:18AM (#46138171)

    Could that be why they are dumping at a site where silt normally settles?

  • Re:What? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Luckyo (1726890) on Monday February 03, 2014 @01:19AM (#46138177)

    Pretty much rock, soil and similar things. The stuff you dig up so you can mine. Whatever is there. It's harmless beyond crushing whatever is on the seabed. They're not dumping it over the reef itself, so this is a non-issue.

    This entire thing is a great microcosm of what is wrong with green movement today. Instead of fighting for worthy, difficult causes they pick easy causes that have little to no impact of environment but is easy to sell to tabloid-reading mob to foam at. Causes which fall apart when you actually examine them in depth.

  • Re:By reef... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dutchmaan (442553) on Monday February 03, 2014 @01:36AM (#46138243) Homepage
    "After all, what's just "a little bit more" gonna do..."
    Next time: "After all, what's just "a little bit more" gonna do..."
    Next time: "After all, what's just "a little bit more" gonna do..."
    Next time: "After all, what's just "a little bit more" gonna do..."
    Next time: "After all, what's just "a little bit more" gonna do..."
    Next time: "After all, what's just "a little bit more" gonna do..."
  • Re:By reef... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LordLucless (582312) on Monday February 03, 2014 @01:36AM (#46138247)

    Would you feel 100% comfortable if a coal-fire power plant would be build 25km upwind from your home? And that's not a very fair comparison because water is a lot more dense than air and more than often less than 1km deep.

    Do coal plants blow silt and sand now? This is the main reason all the stink about this annoys me. What's happening is that a few million tonnes of sand and silt are being moved from point A to point B (when point B already consists entirely of sand and silt). And the the Green groups and people like Get Up post images of clownfish and coral reefs, with captions about "DUMPING TOXIC SLUDGE ON THEIR HOME!".

  • Re: What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by O('_')O_Bush (1162487) on Monday February 03, 2014 @01:42AM (#46138269)
    Yep, it is called a moral panic. In Australia, it worked for guns a few decades ago, and it is still working today with silly things like this or restrictions on porn of small breasted women, etc.

    Fool me once, shame on me, fool me constantly, I must be Australian.
  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Monday February 03, 2014 @01:49AM (#46138307)

    If the shit was not "Waste" before it was scooped up and moved to another spot, then it's still not "Waste".

    "Dredge waste" is more commonly called "sand". It is not exactly toxic industrial sludge that they are dumping.

  • by Dantoo (176555) on Monday February 03, 2014 @02:51AM (#46138533)

    Hilarious the way the ultra-green misrepresent this stuff. Boldly lie and keep telling lies and the world just loves to be outraged. I've even seen some US media reporting that the spoils will be dumped on coral!.

    What a load of crap. Simply moving dredge spoil from one place to another and under incredibly strict guidelines. The actual reef is 40 miles away from where this is happening and the local rivers spew far more "spoil" into the area every year from the rainy season. Stupid people believing the shit that comes from the WWF.

     

  • by zaphod777 (1755922) on Monday February 03, 2014 @02:56AM (#46138551)
    While this is a complex issue, coral health really depends on water clarity and lack of nutrients in the water column. I am mostly worried if this will make the water so murky or even bury the coral. This may be far enough away that it won't make a difference but it needs to be taken into account.
  • by robbak (775424) on Monday February 03, 2014 @04:48AM (#46138859) Homepage

    They have chosen a safe dumping zone where the movement of silt won't cause problems. But the entire east coast of Queensland, however, is the marine park, so all the safe dumping zones are inside the 'park'. So that means that GBRMPA has to check the details and make sure that what the engineers have worked out is a safe dumping zone is actually one, and that the currents won't take large quantities of fine silt onto reefs. They have done so, worked out that it is, and the world moves on.

    Now whether anyone should be digging up coal and shipping it to places where it will be burnt is another matter. But the placement of the dredge spoil is simple engineering.

  • by Buchenskjoll (762354) on Monday February 03, 2014 @05:18AM (#46138959)

    If the shit was not "Waste" before it was scooped up and moved to another spot, then it's still not "Waste".

    The wrapping around you chocolate bar is not waste, you peel it off, eat the chocolate and it's still not waste?

    You buy a roll of toilet paper, wipe your sorry ass with it and it's still not waste?

  • by godel_56 (1287256) on Monday February 03, 2014 @05:45AM (#46139023)

    If the shit was not "Waste" before it was scooped up and moved to another spot, then it's still not "Waste".

    "Dredge waste" is more commonly called "sand". It is not exactly toxic industrial sludge that they are dumping.

    Sometimes dredge waste is called "silt" or even "mud".

    Oh well, the Great Barrier reef will be dead in a few decades anyway from rising sea temperatures, some no real harm done.

    /bitter_cynicism

  • Re:By reef... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TapeCutter (624760) on Monday February 03, 2014 @06:46AM (#46139179) Journal

    The reason they don't dump tonnes of rubble in residential zones is because the land is more valuable as real estate than a dumping ground, and millions of tonnes of rubble takes up a whole lotta space.

    Sound logic, I'm an Aussie taxpayer and I think a marine park is more valuable as a breeding ground for fish than a private dumping ground for Senator Clive Palmer's unwanted land fill.

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