Cruise ships would be stopped from dumping waste near the Great Barrier Reef under draft laws to protect Australia’s coastline from dangerous pollutants.
Tons of cargo slurry is being dumped from ships in Australian waters, polluting the ocean with sewage, food scraps and even radioactive waste.
“Large amounts of toxic liquids including dredged materials, industrial waste, sewage sludge and radioactive waste are illegally dumped in waters near our island home,” government backbencher Jason Falinski said.
Labor transport spokesman Anthony Albanese said up to 500 tonne of cargo slurry including residue of the load could be released from a single ship when it’s cleaned at the end of a journey.
“The main reason why tourists say they come to Australia is about our coastline and our marine environment,” Mr Albanese said.
His colleague Steve Georganas said there would always be a risk to Australian ports but regulation should encourage best practice to protect the sea.
The changes come from the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, to which Australia is a signatory.
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