Date:  18 February 2014

Environment Minister Greg Hunt has made some false comments regarding Labor’s consideration of the Abbot Point Port Expansion Project while in government.

Minister Hunt told ABC radio this morning that Labor had all but finalised the approval for the project including disposing dredge spoil on the Great Barrier Reef. This is not true.

“Greg Hunt has once again been caught out in a blatant lie,” Shadow Minister for the Environment Mark Butler said.

On 9 August 2013, then Environment Minister Mr Butler, announced that the decision on Abbot Point would be deferred as he had received a number of reports regarding potential impacts of dredging and dumping to the Great Barrier Reef’s health.

“These reports related to dredge material management and environmental best practice port development,” Mr Butler said.

“The reports identified new information which had not been previously available including modelling on impacts to the Reef from dredge spoil.”

These reports were released to the public and the decision on Abbot Point was delayed to enable proper consideration of these critical reports.

Minister Hunt also told ABC radio that his government had approved a project “one twelfth the size of what the Bligh and Gillard and Rudd governments had been proposing”.

“This claim is deliberately misleading, at best,” Mr Butler said.

“Minister Hunt approved the exact project proposal that was before me when I was the Minister,” Mr Butler said.

This is not the first time Minister Hunt has been caught in a lie since becoming Environment Minister. In September 2013, Minister Hunt incorrectly accused Mr Butler of failing to deal with environmental approvals in the lead up to the 2013 election. This claim is complete rubbish.


Minister Hunt is on a mission to re-write history. He cannot expect Australians to buy his attempts to blame his environmental decisions on the previous Labor government,” Mr Butler said.



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© Mark Butler. Authorised by Mark Butler 21 Commercial Road, Port Adelaide SA 5015