The Australian government has just announced a major expansion of its controversial dredge project, the dredge system that will flood vast stretches of reef, submerge reefs and damage ecosystems and fisheries.
The expansion, which is set to begin this summer, will increase the size of the dredges used to transport coal and gas from the port of Ballarat to the eastern seaboard and is expected to have a negative environmental impact on the reef.
But the expansion also comes with a new environmental assessment that will take into account new risks to coral reefs and the Great South Coast Barrier Reef.
The federal government is spending $2.7 billion on the expansion, including $1.5 billion for the dredging of land to accommodate the project.
The project will see dredge dredge systems dredge up to 50 kilometres offshore from Ballarat and to the Great Southern Reef Marine Park.
While dredge is not a major cause of reef loss, it is a major contributor to sedimentation.
The dredge program, which started in 2016, is being conducted by the Department of the Environment (DoE) under the supervision of the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).
It is the first major expansion to dredge in more than 60 years.
The DoE says the project will save the country $1 billion annually.
However, the expansion is expected, among other things, to cause the loss of about 6,000 square kilometres of coral and reefs over the next two decades.
While the dredged land will be used to extract coal, gas and minerals, the expanded dredge will also be used for dredging up to 100 kilometres offshore to carry coal from the nearby Carmichael coalmine.
The $2 billion expansion is the biggest dredging expansion ever undertaken by the DoE, and will add another $2,400 to the cost of dredging a section of the reef at Port Douglas.
The reef is currently being inundated with more than 10 metres of sediment from the dredger system, and has already experienced several massive underwater landslides that have caused significant damage to reefs and coastal habitats.
The Great Barrier Fleet is currently dredging land around the port to make room for the expansion.
The BoM says the expansion will create “substantial risks” to the reef because of the expansion and “may cause significant damage” to nearby coral reefs.
In a statement, the BoM said: “There is significant risk that the expansion of the Ballarat dredge programme will cause damage to the marine environment and cause significant impacts on the Great Australian Reef.”
The BoP also said the expansion could lead to “significant adverse impacts” to wildlife, marine plants and other life in the area.
The BMA’s chief executive, John Quigley, said the expanded program was a major boost for the reef and would help improve the quality of the local marine environment.
“The expansion of dredge at Ballarat is expected in conjunction with other dredging developments to improve the productivity of the area, enhance the resilience of the surrounding reef and increase the sustainability of the project,” he said.
“These projects will enhance the area’s marine biodiversity and improve local resilience to climate change impacts.”
The expansion will also provide greater access to the southern Great Barrier and improve the economic potential of the coastal communities.
“While dredging the entire reef, which could cost up to $200 million, will help to increase the number of dredges being dredged, the increased dredging could also impact the Great Australia’s food chain.
According to the Environment Department, there are currently around 2,000 tonnes of coal in the state’s coal port, and up to 500 tonnes of gas, 1,600 tonnes of gold, and 100 tonnes of precious metals.
The expanded dredging will increase that volume to over 5,000 tonne a year, and the BoBM says it will also increase the amount of sediment that is transported through the project, potentially reducing the water quality in the reef over time.
It said it was “extremely concerned” about the expansion project because it “could cause further erosion of the Great Great Barrier Barrier Reef”. “
It is estimated that the proposed expansion of Ballarra’s dredge infrastructure will increase catch capacity by over 200 million tonnes of fish over the period of its operation, increase the quality and quantity of fish caught by fish hatcheries, and improve fish numbers and survival rates,” the BOM said.
It said it was “extremely concerned” about the expansion project because it “could cause further erosion of the Great Great Barrier Barrier Reef”.
A recent study commissioned by the Queensland Government concluded that the expanded port would also increase pollution levels in the Great Sea, as the”
However, the project may not provide adequate access to suitable areas for fish and other marine life.”
A recent study commissioned by the Queensland Government concluded that the expanded port would also increase pollution levels in the Great Sea, as the