Bob Irwin
Bob Irwin

Bob Irwin claims 'greed' and 'stupidity' put reef at risk

BOB Irwin has been told not to worry after demanding the Federal Government stop any plans for dredging near the Great Barrier Reef.

The father of the late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin said he would not sit back and let the reef die as a result of development needed to expand the Abbot Point coal terminal.

Backed by the Australian Marine Conservation Society, Mr Irwin said "ignorance, greed, stupidity and irresponsibility" were putting the reef at risk.

"It just doesn't make sense," he said.

"Every Australian should be concerned about it."

Mr Irwin said Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke needed to step in to stop the project.

Mr Burke said he would do no such thing, preferring to let the process take its course.

He said there were no plans to dredge on the reef, but there were moves to expand the port, which Mr Burke said was in "established industrial areas".

Whether these go ahead was a "strict legal test, not a political one", he said.

"If there is an unacceptable impact on the reef, which is many kilometres away, then the proposals won't get approved," Mr Burke said.

"But I'm still waiting for the technical advice to come in so I can measure the proposal against our tough environmental standards."

Up to 2020, there were tentative plans to have up to five new terminals developed at Abbot Point, allowing the export of up to 300 million tonnes of coal per year.


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