Gladstone development financing could be illegal in the US
17th December 2012
Three US Environmental Non-Government Organisations including the Centre for Biological Diversity have filed legal proceedings against the financing of mega-gas facilities in the Great Barrier Reef due to threats to wildlife.
The group is arguing that the US Export-Import Bank's billion dollar investment in the Australia Pacific LNG project has damaged the value of the World Heritage Area, and is against US law.
Felicity Wishart from the Australian Marine Conservation Society welcomed the case which highlights threats to the Reef and its precious wildlife from rapid, extensive and unchecked development.
"When you dredge the harbour, you destroy the feeding and breeding ground of turtles, dugongs and fish.
"The Australia Pacific LNG project will include drilling 10,000 coal-seam gas wells in central Queensland, building over 450 kilometres of gas pipelines and constructing a massive natural-gas processing facility and export terminal at Curtis Island in Gladstone Harbour.
"The case will seek findings on whether the US Bank is allowed to fund developments such as LNG hubs and ports which put threatened species such as turtles and dugongs and the World Heritage Reef at risk.
The environmental organisations are arguing that this development would have required much tougher environmental standards within US borders and may not have proceeded at all.
"It's an embarrassment for Australians that community members in the US are trying to protect the Reef while the Queensland Government promotes massive new coal and gas developments & a shipping superhighway through the Reef.
"We need to be aware that this is only the beginning - with more mega terminals, freight ships and development planned for the World Heritage Area.
"A development at any cost approach poses huge legal, financial and reputational costs for Queensland and threatens to damage of one of the world's great natural wonders.
Jane Garcia 0434 489 533
The other two plaintiffs taking action in the District Court of Northern California are Turtle Island Restoration Network and Pacific Environment.