Should harbour debate focus switch from dredging to coal?

IT might not make big headlines in Australia's news outlets, but in Canberra today, the Greens will introduce an interesting bill to parliament.

The bill will call for the banning of new ports in the Great Barrier Reef area.

Presumably, the bill will be voted down.

There's an unrecognised anomaly in all this, especially in the debate over development of Gladstone Harbour.

All the argy-bargy is about whether dredging is damaging the environment, including the Great Barrier Reef, but here is an interesting fact - most (but not all) scientists involved have found no significant damage to water quality or fish health from the current dredging project.

However, most credible scientists agree the burning of coal is contributing to climate change, which in turn is damaging the reef.

Most port development on the Queensland coast is designed to facilitate greater coal exports.

Does anybody else wonder if we should shift the focus of our Gladstone Harbour debate?