Billionaire insists reef makes a good toxic waste dump

Clive Palmer.

Billionaire mine-owner Clive Palmer has applied for one of his Queensland companies, the Yabulu nickel refinery, to be allowed to dump millions of litres of toxic water into the Great Barrier Reef.

The tailing dams at the refinery are at dangerously high levels after record rainfall over recent years. There is concern that another big wet season would cause the ponds to overflow, spreading the toxic waste into the Townsville area. The state and federal environment ministers have confirmed that it posed a serious environmental threat and agreed the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority should reject Palmer’s application.

Palmer argued that dumping the water into the ocean is the only solution and denied that the water, which is full of metals and nitrogen, would be harmful to the environment; in fact he claims that dumping it will “protect lives”.

The June 27 Courier-Mail reported that Palmer said there is an 8% risk the ponds will collapse, and the deadly chemicals it contains could get into the waterways of Townsville. "If we close it down and leave the dams there, they're going to burst and children are going to die.”

It begs the question that if it is toxic enough to kill people, wouldn’t that also make it toxic enough to kill endangered fish and cause significant damage to the reef environment?

The Great Barrier Reef is a marine park, designed to protect valuable ecosystems and endangered marine species, and is recognised as one of Australia's top tourist attractions. Palmer claims that as this is an emergency situation, he should be allowed to override normal environmental protection laws.

However, a Queensland scientist who has worked on the tailing dams at the Yabulu refinery, Graeme Millar, conceded that Palmer could solve the problem by investing in new technology or building the dam walls higher.

The Brisbane Times reported on June 29 that: “Professor Millar said Queensland Nickel was presented with a trial technology several years ago that could remove ammonia — the toxic ingredient in the contaminated water — and turn it into fertiliser. However, the company opted not to pursue it.”

Instead of managing its toxic waste, Palmer's company has allowed a dangerous situation to develop, which by its own admission could put people's health and lives in danger. Now it is using the resulting crisis to bully the government into letting it pursue the cheaper option of dumping its waste into the sea.

It’s a cheaper and easier solution for Palmer, but a more costly solution for nature and everyone else.


Comments

clive palmer you are an absolute disgrace to man kind. sis on you!
WHERE DO THESE BIG WIGS COME FROM ALL THEY CARE ABOUT IS MAKING MONEY NOT ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT I THINK ANYONE SPILL ANY TYPE OF WAST INTO THE BARRIER SHOULD HAVE THEIR MINING LICENSE TAKEN OFF THEM AND THEY HAVE TO PAY FOR THE DAMAGE THEY HAVE CAUSED AND THE SHOULD NEVER GET A MINING LICENSE AGAIN
are you actually kidding me?! he hasnt got a fucking clue about the environment. Let him put the toxic waste into his water supply and see how he would like it. twat.
Mr Palmer is a greedy, greedy, selfish, ignorant human being. The Great Barrier Reef is precious and irreplaceable, unlike you, Sir. To suggest dumping toxic waste there will "protect lives" is disgraceful. Take care of your toxic waste in a responsible and environmentally friendly manner. After all, it's been created by you in pursuit of even MORE money you don't need!! Shame on you!
Clive Palmer you are what is wrong with planet.!! You are sick mate.!!
You have got to be joking, if what has been reported above, is to be true, then Clive Palmer has got to seriously, re-evaluate his proposal. Just think out side the box, and find a solution that is actually responsible. Clive Palmer can open his mind and can open his wallet and find a solution that does not involve the Great Barrier Reef. Just do it, find a better solution.
This rant by Clive Palmer shows that the man is obviously mentally imbalanced and raises SIGNIFICANT questions as to his mental state and whether or not he is fit to be an active member of the Board of ANY company.
Yeah Clive, don't dump the water into the GBR. just let it run into Townsville and kill off the people there. Its pretty obvious, people only live for 100years or so, and multiply in numbers far quicker than death. But the reef, it took 4billion years for it to get to where it is today, and will take just as long to regenerate if damaged.