Australia to Ban Transhipment in Great Barrier Reef
Australia's Queensland State government is preparing to ban transhipping in the Great Barrier Reef.
Queensland Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said the new policy will protect the Great Barrier Reef and the tens of thousands of jobs that rely on the Reef.
“The Reef contributes more than A$6 billion to the Australian economy and supports more than 60,000 jobs,” she said. “Our transhipping policy recognizes the multiple pressures the Reef already faces and is a vital part of our government’s package of measures to protect it.”
The policy was developed after 97 percent of over 2,200 submissions made during a period of public consultation called for transhipping in the Great Barrier Reef region to be limited in the World Heritage Area and banned in the Marine Park.
“This policy is about protecting Queensland’s precious and sensitive marine environments and minimizing cumulative impacts on the reef, by focusing marine activities in the Great Barrier Reef region to existing ports,” she said.
The policy is not expected to affect shipping of cargo loaded in Queensland’s declared ports. “We are committed to avoiding unnecessary impacts on communities, and this is why the policy will not apply to the supply of essential services to remote communities, marine emergency response practices, the movement of cargo between vessels while docked in a port, and refuelling activities,” she said.
Additionally, the policy does not apply to packaged or containerized goods at any volume or to bulk materials where the quantity handled is under 100 tons per day.
The Government is currently developing the necessary regulations.