MEDIA RELEASE: LABOR WILL INVEST TO PROTECT THE REEF FROM WASTEWATER HARM
BILL SHORTEN MP
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
TONY BURKE MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER
STEPHEN JONES MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR REGIONAL COMMUNICATIONS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR REGIONAL SERVICES, TERRITORIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT
LABOR CANDIDATE FOR DAWSON
LABOR WILL INVEST TO PROTECT THE REEF FROM WASTEWATER HARM
A Shorten Labor Government will partner with the Burdekin region in the fight to protect the Great Barrier Reef, with a $5 million investment to remove harmful nutrients from wastewater before it can reach the Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most precious marine ecosystems – worth $6 billion a year to the economy while supporting around 69,000 jobs.
A significant threat to the ongoing health of the reef is the impact of wastewater. There is strong scientific evidence that increased quantities of nutrients and pesticides are reaching the Great Barrier Reef – impacting micro-organisms, species and increasing coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) outbreaks across the reef.
The Burdekin Shire Council wants to tackle this problem head on – and Labor will give them the resources to do so.
Labor’s $5 million investment to the Burdekin Shire Council will go towards establishing a pilot site to remediate wastewater – removing harmful nutrients and phosphorus before it enters the waterways.
The project, located at the BSC Ayr/Branden Wastewater Treatment Plant, involves the cultivation of the freshwater macro-algae to removes harmful nutrients.
Research conducted by the James Cook University found this approach virtually eliminated, or significantly reduced, harmful nutrients from wastewater.
The current treatment plant infrastructure does not meet international standards and does not meet the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Sewage Discharge Policy - upgrading the plant will be critical to ensure it meets best practice and minimises impacts on the Reef.
Labor is serious about protecting the Reef because we know that as well as being a precious natural resource, it is critical to the region’s jobs, tourism and economy.
Only Labor and Belinda Hassan are committed to investing in the jobs and infrastructure the Burdekin needs – and to ensuring the benefits of the Great Barrier Reef are enjoyed for generations to come.
THURSDAY, 24 JANUARY 2019