Katter’s call on GBRF to fix the reef rather than fund its bank account

Jul 29, 2021

Katter’s call on GBRF to fix the reef rather than fund its bank account

Jul 29, 2021

KAP Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter, flanked by Traeger MP, Robbie Katter, fronted media in Townsville today to call on the Great Barrier Reef Foundation(GBRF)to fund infrastructure projects which will reduce C02andimprove reef water quality by stopping human waste from seeping into the ocean from urban areas.

Pacific Bio, an Australian aquaculture and biotech company, proposed a number of projects at today’s press conference will reduce human sewerage seeping onto the Reef, reduce CO2, create a make-money stock feed industry for livestock that will greatly improve water quality on the Reef; a key pillar of the Foundation’s $444 million Reef Trust Partnership gifted by Malcom Turnbull as Prime Minister in 2018.

 Mr Katter said the GBRF existed to ensure the longevity of the Great Barrier Reef for all of its stakeholders and users be it tourism, agriculture, mining, energy, recreational, traditional or environmental. According to 1media reports, the Foundation had a bank balance of $428 million at the end of the 2020 FY, so there is plenty of money in the till.

“There are over 200 different organisations and bodies that are ‘looking’ at the reef and yet we are still to see any real outputs that would prevent the likes of UNESCO from putting a global spotlight on us,” Mr Katter said.

“To use Cardwell as an example, it is still on septic -not sewage, but septic and all the houses within a hundred metres of the sea are leaking out septic material into the sea and onto the Reef.

“We are simply asking for $26 million to put the town onto sewerage from a fund that had $444 million gifted into it by Malcolm Turnbull in 2018.

 “The same fund that would appear to have no accountability at all to as to where the money goes and what it is spent on other than the bunch of bludger, freeloaders that call themselves greenies, who are bludging on that money.

 “We have two organisations that are doing an excellent job in this space; the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GRMPA) under the new leadership–but this money is going nowhere at present and we need this money clearly in Cardwell.

“If they knew anything at all about nature, they wouldn’t be picking on the coal miners, the mill workers or the farmers; they’d be better off picking their noses,” Mr Katter said.

KAP Leader and State Member for Traeger Robbie Katter said it was time the tide shifted on blaming farmers and industry on the Reef being impacted and turned the focus on noncompliant facilities in urban areas.

 “We’ve had the decision handed down by UNESCO, and at the same time, AIMS has issued a report saying the coral is “blooming” on the Great Barrier Reef, and we’re here on behalf of the people of North Queensland, because as usual, the industry, the farmers are the punching bag and here with Pacific Bio we have a real solution, “he said.

“The big tangible problem we have is the urban discharge onto the Great Barrier Reef from coastal areas and we’ve got a great, home grown solution here with Pacific Bio who can process the sewerage to tertiary level and all these council facilities that currently aren’t currently to standard.

“The government don’t want to touch them because it is too big of a price tag for them –it’s easier for them to just target the farmers–but with Pacific Bio, they have a cost effective solution to deal with the urban waste from these areas and turn the spotlight back on where some of the problems might be.

“So we are calling on the government to support Pacific Bio in their initiatives to clean up the sewerage and discharge onto the Reef because it sure ain’t the farmers that are the problem –it’s more likely coming from those urban areas and now we’ve got a solution for that,” he said.

Pacific Bio Chief Executive Officer, Sam Boustas, said a 2017 Queensland Government report identified 96non-compliant sewerage treatment facilities in Queensland.

 “It is a billion dollar clean-up and with the help of JCU, we have the technology to clean it up and make money at the same time.

 “We generate algae which we can turn back to the farmers in a closed loop system. We can remove 500 tonnes of nitrogen and 500,000 tonnes of carbon annually while cleaning up the water mess in sewerage treatment plants and affluent in the Great Barrier Reef.

“150million of total spend would allow us to deploy these algae farms in 22 regions across North Queensland from the far north down to the Burdekin. Our Burdekin plant is shovel ready and would make a difference in three years.

 “Sewerage is currently being released in areas where people swim and we have the technology to clean it up–this area represents a $6 billion tourism industry and putting that at risk because you aren’t prepared to upgrade the infrastructure is unacceptable.”

Mr Katter said that the people that were being critical of the Reef were people from southern areas of the nation or from overseas that had no experience with the Reef.

“There are200 organisations blood-sucking off the public of Australia for Great Barrier Reef; people who had never been in scuba diving in their lives. The Great Barrier Reef is just a milking cow for a bunch of bludgers sitting in the city doing nothing except telling the farmers, the coal miners, and the milk farmers that they are destroying the planet.

“So we want to know where this $444 million has gone and we are determined to find out,” Mr Katter warned.