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Australia Grants Dumping Permit in Great Barrier Reef

  • VOA News

FILE - Australian Institute of Marine Science image shows bleaching on a coral reef at Halfway Island in Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
The government agency responsible for protecting Australia's Great Barrier Reef has approved a plan to dump millions of cubic meters of dredged mud near the fragile ecosystem to expand a major coal port.

Environmentalists were enraged by Friday's decision, saying the dredging to expand the port of Abbot Point in northern Queensland will endanger delicate coral and grasses, and increased shipping traffic will raise the risk of accidents, such as oil spills and collisions with the reef.

However, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority said Friday that it has imposed strict conditions on the dumping permit.