FEDERAL Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch has renewed calls for serious consideration to be given to using dredge spoil on degraded land following comments by Environment Minister Tony Burke that the reef would be used only as a “last resort”.
The Federal Government is pushing to introduce a fee of between $5 and $15 per cubic metre of dredge spoil that is dumped in the ocean.
Mr Entsch this week has called for the State Government to explore sites on land to dispose of dredge spoil to avoid the levy and prevent pollution on the reef.
He also urged the State Government to review regulations that compel people to dump spoil at sea.
“There is no evidence at the moment to support that the practice of dumping dredging spoil on the Great Barrier Reef lagoon is the last resort,” he said.
“The fact that the State Government has shied away from considering any land-based options clearly shows they are disciples to the Greens.
“Considering that from July 1 the Federal Government wants to introduce a fee, land-based sites need to be examined. Land-based solutions may well provide enormous economic benefits, rather than accepting a solution that is certain to pollute the Barrier Reef lagoon.
“It doesn’t make sense.”