Ports paid $317,000 to dump massive dredge spoil

QUEENSLAND port corporations paid the Federal Government just $317,500 in fees to allow them to dump more than 27 million cubic metres of dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area in the past 12 years.

The ports at Gladstone, Mackay, Townsville and Hay Point applied for a total of 22 permits to dump dredge spoil within the limits of the WHA between 2000 and September last year.

Of the total 22 permits applied for, 21 were approved by the Federal Government, allowing more than 27 million cubic metres of dredged sea bed to be dumped in the world heritage-listed site.

The latest application, for a permit to dump a further 3.4 million cubic metres near Townsville, has not yet been approved.

The figures of approved sea dumping permits were released after Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke.