The Australian Marine Conservation Society has welcomed news that a flatback turtle stronghold in Broad Sound has been chosen by the Federal Government as a climate change refuge, saying the move is another reason why a Clive Palmer-owned coal mine proposal should be rejected by Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley.
The Central Queensland Coal (CQC) project, located just 10km from Broad Sound which is part of Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, was last week rejected by the Queensland Government on environmental grounds. The project is now with Minister Ley for consideration.
“The announcement will lead to Avoid Island in Broad Sound becoming a mecca for protection and restoration. Now there is even more reason for Minister Ley to follow the independent scientific panel and the Queensland government advice and reject the CQC project,” said David Cazzulino, AMCS Reef campaigner.
“Not only would a new coal mine contribute to the fossil fuel emissions which are harming important turtle rookery sites and foraging areas in our Reef, but pollution from the mine could flow into Broad Sound and directly impact these species.
“Scientists have shown that the Broad Sound islands of Avoid and Wild Duck are the most important rookeries in Eastern Australia for flatback turtles. Flatbacks, greens and loggerhead turtles also use Broad Sound for foraging.
“We ask Minister Ley to listen to the advice of scientists, local communities and the Queensland government and reject this mine. The marine values of this region are irreplaceable and should not be risked by approving a new coal mine so close by.”