The dredging and dumping of 3m tonnes of spoil in Great Barrier Reef marine park waters posed an “unacceptable social and environmental risk”, the authority in charge of the world heritage area wrote in draft assessments just months before it approved the permit to carry out the disposal.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) advised the environment department not to approve the dredging of Abbot Point in a port expansion, finding that both the reef itself and threatened species could be at risk if the plan went ahead in a draft submission which it says it did not send.

The project was approved by the environment minister, Greg Hunt, in December and at the end of January the authority endorsed a permit with 47 conditions attached.

Reported by the Guardian. You can read the full story here.

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