In January, the body tasked with protecting the Great Barrier Reef approved a plan to dump three million cubic metres of dredge spoil inside the marine park to expand the Abbot Point coal port.
The decision by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has shocked and angered the scientific community. Internal documents obtained by Four Corners reveal deep divisions between the scientists and bureaucrats behind the decision. They show that the dumping was approved despite previous recommendations from senior scientists that it be rejected.
"That decision has to be a political decision. It is not supported by science at all, and I was absolutely flabbergasted when I heard." - Dr Charlie Veron, marine scientist
[in regards to the threat to the Great Barrier Reef from greenhouse emissions].
Dr Charlie Veron: It’s incredibly serious. What we are doing now is pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at a rate which has never happened remotely before. Now, this will acidify the oceans and that’s… that’ll be the end of it for corals. It’s very, very serious.”
Read full transcript (or watch the show)