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Australia OKs Dumping Dredge Waste In Barrier Reef

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the put-that-anywhere dept.

Australia 277

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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Sign the petition (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#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.

Re:Sign the petition (0, Troll)

cheater512 (783349) | about 7 months ago | (#46137865)

Yeah as if Getup will actually get anything done.

Re: Sign the petition (0)

Nodsnarb (2851527) | about 7 months ago | (#46137929)

Epic Fail on the part of GetUp- they started posting this junk on social media the day after the Australian Federal Government closed its community consultation on the future of the reef (http://www.reefhaveyoursay.com.au/). Only thing worse than an ineffective government is an ineffective social movement.

Re: Sign the petition (5, Funny)

weilawei (897823) | about 7 months ago | (#46138629)

There’s no point acting all surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display in your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now.

Re:Sign the petition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138045)

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.

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

Re:Sign the petition (5, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 7 months ago | (#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.

Re:Sign the petition (5, Insightful)

zaphod777 (1755922) | about 7 months ago | (#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.

Re:Sign the petition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138393)

Mud or bear crap in the woods is not waste, but your opinion might be different if i piled up a bunch of it on your door step, or buried your garden in it.

Re:Sign the petition (5, Interesting)

deek (22697) | about 7 months ago | (#46138321)

The conditions require that sediment entering the marine park be reduced by 150 percent over the long term -- a "net benefit" to water quality -- and that $81 million be contributed to reef conservation programs and specific measures observed to protect marine flora and fauna.

It's important to note the sea floor of the approved disposal area consists of sand, silt and clay and does not contain coral reefs or seagrass beds.

  Hmmm, this decision could actually be a benefit to the reef, not a detraction. I'd hope so, considering the park authority approved it. These are people who love the reef, are tasked with the job of protecting the reef, and are presumably experts in marine ecology and environment. They approved it. I'd say it's a very good chance that they made a good decision.

Re:Sign the petition (5, Interesting)

weilawei (897823) | about 7 months ago | (#46138643)

That's known as an appeal to authority. We hear them a lot on /., usually in reference to some policy made "for the children" or "to protect us". Save it for someone who cares. Citations or GTFO and don't make uselessly speculative comments. For example, you could cite WHICH experts approved it, since that would allow us to more easily judge if there's a financial motive or other outstanding bias which should not have factored into their decision, above and beyond their expert status.

Re:Sign the petition (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138401)

It's because Aussies are a bunch of asshole fascist fuckwits. They only outlawed the hunting of the indigeneous people circa 1950...I mean .. srsly?

They are the USA of the southern hemisphere...i.e. nobody likes them and they're now just comprised of idiot immigrant scum. Euro aussies are descended from either convicts or prison staff...not much to fall back on...probably why there have never been any serious achievers from that pond scum of ancestry.

Fuck Australia and everything it stands for. Nothing more than a nest of maggots.

Re:Sign the petition (1)

Dantoo (176555) | about 7 months ago | (#46138543)

Nice TROLL!

Kiwi or Pom btw? ::P

Re:Sign the petition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138621)

As an Aussie you're right, except our North is like your South ;)

Re:Sign the petition (3, Insightful)

Dantoo (176555) | about 7 months ago | (#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 reef... (5, Informative)

LordLucless (582312) | about 7 months ago | (#46137831)

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

Re:By reef... (5, Informative)

mjwx (966435) | about 7 months ago | (#46137915)

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

You do know that 25 KM is not a long distance, it's only 17 miles if you're not competent with metric measurements.

25 KM will easily be covered by currents.

The federal Australian government is also attempting to have the old growth forests in Tasmania de-listed as a world heritage area so they can log there.

Re:By reef... (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 7 months ago | (#46137953)

25 KM will easily be covered by currents.

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

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

mjwx (966435) | about 7 months ago | (#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... (4, Informative)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 7 months ago | (#46138149)

I'm getting the feeling that it is you who are unfamiliar with water. Whatever it takes, it dilutes to minuscule particles very quickly. Only solid stuff that does not degrade in salt water quickly such as certain types of plastic gets noticeable, and that just gets stuffed inside one of the ocean's great gyros which are trashed with plastic anyway.

Otherwise you're going to have to conduct a costly chemical analysis looking for particles to notice it. As an example, a motherload of all dumps was taken in the Baltic after WW2, we're talking chemical weapons, biological weapons, explosives, chemical waste on massive scale. The basin has minimal flow into the ocean. Tdoay it's still clean enough that people can swim in it, it's full of fish that is safe to eat (as much as overfishing allows) and so on.

And here you're whining about an area size of a Germany in the middle of the biggest ocean on the planet and about other people not having a clue about water? Really?

Re:By reef... (4, Insightful)

Dutchmaan (442553) | about 7 months ago | (#46138243)

"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... (1)

dwywit (1109409) | about 7 months ago | (#46138493)

'Taint in the middle of the pacific. Hint: search for "great barrier reef marine park" on google maps.

It's also a rather fragile ecosystem that's already under pressure - some natural, some man-made.

OTOH, dredging spoil (mostly mud and sand) is *already* in the water, they're only moving it from the harbours/estuaries further out. There *might* be problem with nutrient load.

Re:By reef... (4, Insightful)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 7 months ago | (#46138171)

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

Re:By reef... (2)

MrKaos (858439) | about 7 months ago | (#46138285)

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

No, that's not right. Tidal movements in that part of the world are 7-10 METRES, which means a humungous amount of water is moving in those areas - which is why the coral lives there in the first place.

It's pretty amazing to walk on the sea bed that you were swimming over the day before.

Re:By reef... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138513)

Coral reefs have been around longer than humans. Coral reefs can handle silt. This is much ado about NOTHING.

Re:By reef... (2)

quenda (644621) | about 7 months ago | (#46138111)

The Marine Park is 345,000 square km - the size of Germany!
I'm sure they can find somewhere suitable.

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

LordLucless (582312) | about 7 months ago | (#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... (2)

mjwx (966435) | about 7 months ago | (#46137985)

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?

Only a tiny amount of the crap you dump needs to get to my house in order for it to be damaged and become unliveable.

There's a good reason they don't dump a million tonnes of rubble near residential zones. the dust kicked up alone would play havoc with local residents.

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.

Again, there are good reasons for this. There isn't another environment like Tasmania in the world. But developing sustainable forestry is hard and cutting down old growth is easy. No point in even trying sustainable forestry (not like we're running out of old growth now are we).

Re:By reef... (3, Interesting)

LordLucless (582312) | about 7 months ago | (#46138027)

There's a good reason they don't dump a million tonnes of rubble near residential zones. the dust kicked up alone would play havoc with local residents.

For how long? You might get a couple of dusty days until it all settles down again. Hardly a national emergency. 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.

But developing sustainable forestry is hard and cutting down old growth is easy. No point in even trying sustainable forestry (not like we're running out of old growth now are we).

They've got plenty of sustainable forestry. But you can't scale up an industry if there's nowhere for it to scale out to - you need cleared land to plant the sustainable-growth forest. I'd have no problem with Tasmania limiting their own industry, if they weren't getting subsidised by the other states to keep them above water while they did it (Tasmania gets about twice the GST revenue, per capita, as most other states - NT being the exception).

Re:By reef... (1)

swillden (191260) | about 7 months ago | (#46138117)

There's a good reason they don't dump a million tonnes of rubble near residential zones.

Sure they do. There are lots of places where there are landfills right next to residential areas.

Re:By reef... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138357)

And those places would be lower socioeconomic areas with all the attendant health problems....

Re:By reef... (2, Insightful)

spongman (182339) | about 7 months ago | (#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... (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 7 months ago | (#46138015)

The federal Australian government is also attempting to have the old growth forests in Tasmania de-listed as a world heritage area so they can log there.

If anyone wants to see how gorgeous Tasmania is, check out the Willem Dafoe movie "The Hunter" - the landscapes are stunning.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt17... [imdb.com]

Re:By reef... (3, Funny)

hawguy (1600213) | about 7 months ago | (#46138035)

You do know that 25 KM is not a long distance, it's only 17 miles if you're not competent with metric measurements.
 

And only 15.5 miles if you are competent with Metric to English conversions.

Re:By reef... (4, Interesting)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 7 months ago | (#46138405)

Or, you know, Americans could just adapt when they come to visit.

Lots of scary things in Australia - the metric system, driving on the left, dunnies that flush the opposite direction, 240V AC, summer in February etc.

Re:By reef... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 7 months ago | (#46138649)

And only 13.5 miles, if you convert to nautical miles in nautical areas.

Re:By reef... (0)

Pierre Rossouw (2847707) | about 7 months ago | (#46138063)

They're not dumping toxic waste, it's just soil dredged up from a nearby area. Not polluted soil, not radioactive soil, just soil. This is not a big deal.

Re:By reef... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138133)

The "dredge" doesn't just magically appear on the bottom of the ocean. It falls down in clouds of material, which affects the water quality for marine life in the area.
Even when it is in a pile on the floor, it's a very loose pile, easily blown around by currents or storm surges. The coral is already stressed from temperature changes and other issues such as predators. It won't take much to reach a non-recoverable tipping point.

Re:By reef... (4, Informative)

alvinrod (889928) | about 7 months ago | (#46138233)

According to the government's own environmental impact report [qld.gov.au] there isn't any anticipated impact. From the report:

Impact of dredging at the new berth will be very limited as the volume to be dredged is very small, and the duration of work (two weeks) is minimal. Studies at the proposed offshore disposal site also reveal that past disposal has had no discernible long term effects. No significant level of contaminants has been found in the dredging areas, from coal or other material spillage, and dredge spoil is therefore considered suitable for unconfined ocean disposal. Coastal processes do not contribute to silting of the berths or the approach channel.

It sounds like this isn't the first time they've dumped there and that those prior events have not had any noticeable negative effects and that they've tested what's going to be dumped there to ensure that there aren't any contaminants. It's starting to appear as though this is just a lot of environmentalists throwing a fit for no good reason.

Re:By reef... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138259)

The government's report is hardly an independent report. The current government, is business first, environment second. You could compare them to the Republican party.

Re:By reef... (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138589)

The current government wasn't in power when the report in question was written: it dates from 2007. Which parts of the report do you believe to be inaccurate? Feel free to be specific and have references to third party sources.

Re:By reef... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138647)

You do realize this is like sentencing a person based on whether they plead guilty or not guilty?

Re:By reef... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138561)

You do know that logging old-growth forests responsibly is a GOOD thing for the forest.. right?

Re:By reef... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138639)

It's not just 25 KM! It's 25K M!

Re:By reef... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46137921)

I'm sure you know less than the 220 scientists who said 'no'

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

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 7 months ago | (#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... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138201)

Deepwater Horizon involved oil which floats, not heavy dredging spoil which by definition does not. Sure, currents move sediment on the ocean floor around, but not much. And bear in mind that the GBR region already has any number of major rivers flowing into it which dump millions of tons of sediment into the area every year; sediment which, moreover, is full of agricultural chemicals and fertilizer. When you see a picture of the GBR it's inevitably of high grade coral surrounded by brilliant aquatic fauna. What you don't see is that 99.99% of the region is not reef, it's just normal continental shelf, an area the size of Germany (as someone else said). The occasional dredging operation or ship hitting the bottom in the GBR region are near irrelevant. They are just high profile trivialities for environmentalists to grasp and use to excite the general public. The real threats to the GBR are global warming and farm runoff.

Re:By reef... (-1, Flamebait)

s.petry (762400) | about 7 months ago | (#46138095)

And 3 million cubic tons of debris won't have impact? Seeing as how it's waste materials and full of toxins, and waters have currents and such, it could potentially do a lot of damage. Yeah yeah, it's dredge materials they are dumping. That means it's full of runoff and shit you surely would not want in your garden.

Would it not make more sense to truck this out to one of the massive deserts and bury it perhaps?

It boils down to money for the politicians and their buddies (common theme not limited to the US). Here is an idea. Why not move the dirt to their yards, and the people supporting this project. Let all of the people claiming 'so what' and 'no big deal' share in the spoils. I mean, you are making money from the deal so you should surely share in the spoils.

Re:By reef... (3, Informative)

LordLucless (582312) | about 7 months ago | (#46138119)

And 3 million cubic tons of debris won't have impact? Seeing as how it's waste materials and full of toxins, and waters have currents and such, it could potentially do a lot of damage. Yeah yeah, it's dredge materials they are dumping. That means it's full of runoff and shit you surely would not want in your garden.

It's stuff they dug up from the seabed, which they're dumping onto the seabed. It's silt, sand and clay, and it's processed to remove any incidental toxic matter before it's dumped.

Re:By reef... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138261)

The fact that you use a word like "toxins" as if it has any real meaning shows that you don't have the slightest fucking clue what you're talking about. Maybe you should just shut up and let the smart people handle things.

Re:By reef... (5, Informative)

Harlequin80 (1671040) | about 7 months ago | (#46138277)

Why is this modded insightful?

It is being sucked up out of the shipping channel and harbour (ie off the ocean floor) and then being transport basically no distance and put back down in the main area silt builds up. Also current flows are AWAY from the reef.

This will have orders of magnitude less impact than the floods we have do.

Re:By reef... (2)

Andhesaidtome (2738249) | about 7 months ago | (#46138291)

WTF is a cubic ton? Contrary to what the enviro-warrior propagandists would have you think, this is not an evil coal waste product. It is dredge spoil from the ocean floor, the like of which has been dredged and dumped from every medium/deep water port along the coast. The only reason this is getting airplay is because the dredging is to expand a coal loading port, not a commercial fishing or leisure craft port. They couldn't get enough traction to stop the ships navigating through the reef to they are going after the next softest target.

Re: By reef... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138463)

Ships navigate through the reef? What the hell... It costs fuel to go round it but only takes one ship to destroy the reef completely. So sad. All this for a few more coins....

Re:By reef... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138497)

WTF is a cubic ton?

It's a unit of measurement - a cube measuring 1 ton per side.

Contrary to what the enviro-warrior propagandists would have you think, this is not an evil coal waste product. It is dredge spoil from the ocean floor, the like of which has been dredged and dumped from every medium/deep water port along the coast. The only reason this is getting airplay is because the dredging is to expand a coal loading port, not a commercial fishing or leisure craft port. They couldn't get enough traction to stop the ships navigating through the reef to they are going after the next softest target.

They are not dredging the middle of an imaginary pristine ocean, but the slurry in a port. Ever get an oil stain in your driveway/garage? Imagine if a billion tonnes of cars parked there, changing every day, for 30 years. That's what they're dredging when they "clear" a channel. So it really depends on the the port, river, canal, estuary:
http://www.epa.gov/hudson/

That said, if the park authority leadership hasn't changed in the last five years, it's probably ok. If a new leader took the helm, appointed after the last election, maybe not so much.

Re:By reef... (1)

Zibodiz (2160038) | about 7 months ago | (#46138573)

...a cube measuring 1 ton per side.

Huh? Methinks you're confusing measurements of weight and length.
A cubic ton is a relative measurement; it's essentially like saying "40 cubic feet of timber from the average trees in the average forest weighs 1 ton, so instead of weighing all of our timber, we'll just sell it by the cubic foot instead, and call it 1/40th of a ton." It's a sloppy, approximating measurement method.

Re:By reef... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138523)

Chalk this up to yet another scary chicken little environmental story that will prove to be much ado about nothing. Remember all the predictions of global catastrophe when Saddam let all the well heads on fire during his retreat from Kuwait. Remember President Carter predicting that the world was 8 years away from running out of oil? Or Al Gore's prediction that the polar ice caps would be completely melted by now.

Re:By reef... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138107)

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

And by "Dredge Waste", they mean a patch of silt from the ocean floor, not actual waste.

Re:By reef... (1)

Dan B. (20610) | about 7 months ago | (#46138159)

It's actually 25km off the coast, not 25km from the reef. And by that, it means a dump site between the coast and the reef, not the ocean and off the continental shelf.

The sludge will increase the turbidity of the inner reef waters (cloudiness from the amount of suspended solids) and will carry well beyond the dump site. It's not toxic waste, but it is not pristine white sand either. The real problem though is the volume of the dump; 3 million m3 is a lot of material to spread over the sea floor.

Here are some slightly more neutral (less left/right winged) views
http://www.businessinsider.com... [businessinsider.com.au]

Re:By reef... (2)

LordLucless (582312) | about 7 months ago | (#46138227)

It's also about 25km from the reef [bbcimg.co.uk] (the green in this image). It's located at about the midpoint between the port and the reef, at 25km each way.

Re:By reef... (1)

GeoSanDiego (703197) | about 7 months ago | (#46138529)

Newsflash: The sea floor is spacious. Very very spacious.

Re:By reef... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138191)

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

Imagine the atmosphere is only 100 - 3000m thick, there is a constant wind from the NE. 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.

However the bigger issue here is this is yet another ecological impact to be added to all the other ongoing threats to the GBR. There is the impact from fertiliser and other farming chemicals run-off (this has proven impact and originates further away than 25km). There is the devastating impact the Crown Of Thorns star fish is having. This is a foreign species of starfish introduced into this environment through international shipping. Then there is the intensity and frequency of tropical cyclones which is increasing, causing more silt and farm run-off to be deposited. Etc.

Ports all over the North Eastern Queensland coast are being expanded to increase the export of minerals...

Sure, on its own this would probably have a manageable impact however surely no one can deny we're just adding more fuel to the already burning fire here?

Re:By reef... (2, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | about 7 months ago | (#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:By reef... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138255)

Moruroa was much further away from Australia.

come one (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46137837)

It's dredge waste, not spent fuel rods.
They are moving rocks from one part of the sea bed to another part of the seabed.

What about (0)

rossdee (243626) | about 7 months ago | (#46137841)

Poor Nemo, Marlin, and Dory

I hope Bruce and the Sharks anonymous go to the beaches of Queensland and eat some Aussies (theyre not fish)

Confessions Of an Ex-SLASHDOT BETA user (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46137869)

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Day 9: Having black out sessions where I cannot remember large passings of time. Found some makeup, thought I'd paint a joker smile on my face to amuse the people only I can see!

Day 10: Productive today, part of what I wrote for my new screenplay:

I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slas

(drops of blood on paper)

Apology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46137871)

On behalf of most Australians, I apologise to the world for risking damaging one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world. All thanks to the climate change denying prime minister that right about now most of us wish we hadn't voted for.

Re:Apology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46137933)

Don't apologize on my behalf you moron. This deep water port has been operating for over 30 years and the material they're dredging is going onto an area of the sea bed that has no corals or sea grasses. It's nowhere near any coral outcroppings.

Re:Apology (1)

neonmonk (467567) | about 7 months ago | (#46137949)

*didn't* vote for.

If you voted for Tony Abbott you neglected to do any research at all into the man. You failed your due diligence as a member of a democracy.

Re:Apology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138047)

And Tony has something to do with this how? This has gone through multiple layers of approval and I am sure in your mind that Tony was Chair person at each level.

Re:Apology (1)

quenda (644621) | about 7 months ago | (#46138129)

You don't get to vote for him at all, unless you lived in his electorate, which is a safe seat anyway.
It is the inner party who chooses the PM. Sounds bad, but do you really want a direct-election system like the US?
I think its kind of nice when the government can actually pass laws.

Re:Apology (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 7 months ago | (#46138425)

If you don't want a party leader to be prime minister, don't vote for the party.

Re:Apology (1)

quenda (644621) | about 7 months ago | (#46138467)

If you don't want a party leader to be prime minister, don't vote for the party.

You are far more likely to affect the result in your local seat than in the nation.
Would you vote for Craig Thomson because you dislike Abbott?

WWF (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46137875)

'This is a sad day for the reef and anyone who cares about its future,' said WWF Great Barrier Reef campaigner Richard Leck

He then proceeded to hit Paul Hogan with a steel folding chair and pinned him.

As an Australian, (1, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | about 7 months ago | (#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:As an Australian, (3, Interesting)

coolsnowmen (695297) | about 7 months ago | (#46137931)

As an average American, I understand.

Re:As an Australian, (1)

buswolley (591500) | about 7 months ago | (#46137989)

Undoing the troll mod I accidentally applied

Re:As an Australian, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138163)

I'd like to say I'm categorically not OK with dumping waste here.

Since the purpose of the dredging operation is to move the shit from one spot on the floor of the ocean to another, in its entirety, it is NOT "waste". We only call it "dredge waste" when you take the shit you scoop up and run it through some sort of process (like filtering out gold or other precious metals) and then dump the remainder. It's no more "waste" then taking a shovel of dirt from one part of your yard and moving it to another part of the yard makes the dirt "waste".

They are using scare words to get you whipped into a righteous frenzy, because it's far easier to get stupid people to agree with you if you play off their emotional response than if you try to appeal to logic. Which is why many will down-vote this post out of Righteous Indignation, and few will vote it either way based on logic and reason.

Re:As an Australian, (3, Informative)

mjwx (966435) | about 7 months ago | (#46138211)

Since the purpose of the dredging operation is to move the shit from one spot on the floor of the ocean to another, in its entirety, it is NOT "waste".

No, the purpose of the dredging operation is to expand the coal port at Abbott Point.

The problem is that they're ignoring legitimate environmental concerns (and to the barrier reef, silt is waste) for financial convenience because it would cost more to dump it somewhere else that isn't right next a fragile ecosystem.

They are using scare words to get you whipped into a righteous frenzy

You are attempting to oversimplify things because you cant understand the real concerns here.

You are also attempting to prevent legitimate rebuttals of your point by attacking the person and using thought terminating cliches because your point isn't strong enough to stand on it's own merits.

Re:As an Australian, (1)

GumphMaster (772693) | about 7 months ago | (#46138563)

The issue here is that the dredge material, taken entirely from an already reserved port area, is to be be dumped in the marine equivalent of a national park. Imagine the reaction if a private mining concern was granted permission to dump their spoil, which after all is just rock moved from somewhere else, on top of Ol' Faithful in Yellowstone or in a Yosemite lake (a layer 2'6" thick over 1.5 Sq miles). How should/would the American people take that?

The GBRMPA is hamstrung by the ideology of both involved layers of government, to whom nature has no value unless you cut it down or dig it up and ship it off. On recent government performance the alternative would be to refuse permission and have the authority dissolved or the board replaced with more pliable members. Realistically the GBRMPA were unable to reach any other decision and have chosen the least shitty option available to them, preferring to lose this battle in order to continue to do good elsewhere.

Re: As an Australian, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138217)

In Canada we still pump our raw sewage into the sea. its no big deal.

Re:As an Australian, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138223)

Decisions like these always make me believe there is an evil mastermind behind the governments and companies, petting his white cat and chewing his little finger. Soon, the remaining movable waste of the Fukushima site find new homes at the most endangered areas around the East, with the Barrier Reef taking anything almost fully corroded.

Re:As an Australian, (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 7 months ago | (#46138345)

Not surprising considering the state government has the largest majority in the history of Queensland and thinks they can do whatever they like and the federal government has been breaking promises left and right (on everything from education to welfare to tax reform to broadband) and has an environmental policy that is essentially "give the big end of town whatever they want and to hell with the environment"

Re:As an Australian, (1)

Harlequin80 (1671040) | about 7 months ago | (#46138359)

As an Australian with some ability to read and the knowledge that this "waste" is sand sucked up from the seabed a short distance away I am absolutely ok with them making navigation channels and harbours safer for really really big ships full of fuel oil, gas, coal and other shit that I REALLY REALLY don't want to end up on the reef.

Re:As an Australian, (3, Interesting)

mjwx (966435) | about 7 months ago | (#46138453)

As an Australian with some ability to read and the knowledge that this "waste" is sand sucked up from the seabed a short distance away

As an Australian with quite an ability to read, the ability to think and quite a bit of understanding on the subject, the "waste" is called silt and being quite fine (extremely fine sand) tends to travel quite a distance when dumped... This is why it cant be dumped closer to Abbott point, because it'll go straight back into the channel they were dredging.

So dumping it on the great barrier reef is easier as transporting it to a safe dumping zone is expensive.

You seem to think it's OK because it's sand, this is where your understanding of the subject ends, coral you see doesn't do too well when sand gets dumped on it and 25 KM away is definitely not far enough to ensure the silt does not reach the reef. Realistically the expansion at Abbott point should never have been approved.

Take Out the Trash Day (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46137913)

And like most other pronouncements made by a government authority which are expected to attract negative publicity, this decision was made and released on a Friday afternoon.

Had it been something for which the government authority wanted maximum publicity, they would have made the announcement at the start of the week. (Sunday. Monday.)

I hate it when government departments work the news cycle ... it feels dirty.

Ashamed... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46137943)

to call myself Australian since the LIberal government takeover. They're doing the complete opposite to everything I want and believe in. Who wants to trade citizenship? Preferably a Canadian. I DID NOT VOTE FOR THIS DICKS!!!!

Re:Ashamed... (2)

ushere (1015833) | about 7 months ago | (#46138121)

+1 this liberal government is a disgrace to democracy, but then again, what conservative government isn't?

Re:Ashamed... (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 7 months ago | (#46138427)

I think it's pretty good. The Aussie dollar is dropping, makes buying stuff from there cheaper.

Re:Ashamed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138581)

and that's good for the people how?!? -__-

near religious posturing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138011)

Could both sides please put their research/models on the impacts to the reef out publicly and allow an independent/international to verify? Over the Christmas break I happened to talk to an environmental scientist that works on such reports for that region of the reef. They told me that as far as they could see in the numbers the risks to the reef were non-existent and that certain environmental groups basically threatened that unless the report said what they wanted it to say that they would cause a stink that would ruin reputations and jobs of individuals. The mainstream media has certainly jumped on the hysteria (as they usually do). I don't know who is right but can we put the science - the numbers and models to the front of the discussion rather than outrage over what people with vested interests (on both sides) tell us what to think via the media.

What? (1)

gimmeataco (2769727) | about 7 months ago | (#46138023)

I understand what dredging is, but what is the composition of dredge waste? Non-native soil/rocks/sand? Percentages of whatever they're doing?

Re:What? (2, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 7 months ago | (#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: What? (3, Insightful)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 7 months ago | (#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.

Re:What? (2)

Tailhook (98486) | about 7 months ago | (#46138325)

stuff you dig up so you can mine

The word dredging usually denotes removal of sea bed, as opposed to mining. Indeed this story is about dredging to make a port deep enough for larger freighters.

Other than that you're right; this isn't chemical waste or radio-active waste or something. It's rock and sand. Pipe it to a new location and it will settle and have little to no impact. The title, transcribed right from the Discovery story, `...Dumping Dredge Waste In Barrier Reef...' contains at least two lies ("waste" and "in") and probably a third with the "dump" characterization. This operation will be closely observed and the rock and sand will be settled carefully wherever it ends up.

Re:What? (2)

Demonantis (1340557) | about 7 months ago | (#46138329)

Its dredge from a coal port. Dollars to donuts all the coal doesn't make it on the ship everytime.

Re:What? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 7 months ago | (#46138433)

The stuff they dig up from the sea floor, nothing else.

Shouldn't America bomb them? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138037)

Obama's blocking the Keystone pipeline of nearly benign carbon emissions and raped Ghadafi's government over a launching a few SCUDs at armed dissidents. Where's the NATO mission to oust these fucking psychos? First no-blood video games and now this?

The Australian Government (2)

PC_THE_GREAT (893738) | about 7 months ago | (#46138337)

I guess the Australian Government also joined the list of governments who knows that the people can't do shit about anything.

Corruption at work: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138507)

Several board members have connections with big coal it turns out:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-29/reef-board-members-in-conflict-of-interest-claims/5052558

Of course the current government will do nothing about this since they are all corrupt too.

Australia is a fascist dictatorship right now: We call it a Murdocracy.

Clive Palmer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46138511)

They're expanding the port to handle expanded coal mining operations in the Galilee Basin. One of the two beneficiaries (ie, owners of the mines) is one of Australia's richest men: Clive Palmer. Clive happens to be the Federal Member for Fairfax. Ie, he's a federal member of parliament.

He's been fighting to have the port expanded for years, and had a falling out with the Newman (state) government over it. But Palmer now holds the balance of power in the federal parliament... and his dredging operation now gets approved.

I'd expect this kind of thing in the US parliament where money and politics are more intertwined than here in Australia. Tis a sad day for Australia in more ways than one.

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