Mining money to rescue reef

VISIONARY: Eco Barge Clean Seas inc director Libby Edge with mayoral candidate Tony Maine who plans to hit the mining magnates for money to protect our reef.
VISIONARY: Eco Barge Clean Seas inc director Libby Edge with mayoral candidate Tony Maine who plans to hit the mining magnates for money to protect our reef.

WHEN Tony Maine first entered the mayoral race he said he was a man with a plan. Now, as the weeks draw closer to Council elections on April 28, that plan is taking shape. In the past week, Mr Maine has announced two major strategies on funding the future and protecting our waterways, both of which draw on mining money to protect our interests and meet the demands that the resources boom will inevitably bring.

This week Mr Maine pledged that if elected mayor, his council would establish a community-based, resource-funded waterways trust for the constant care, monitoring and protection of our reef, coast and islands in response to and for the prevention of environmental threats posed by the impending mining boom.

Mr Maine says the beauty of this trust is that it would be funded by the major resource companies themselves, with Adani, Waratah and Hancock Coal all invited to contribute a combined $2million per year.

"We expect these major companies to agree to fund the service over three year cycles in their own interest and that of their shareholders," Mr Maine said.

On Monday Mr Maine met with Eco Barge Clean Seas Inc director Libby Edge to discuss the proposition of her placement in the overall scheme.

"We think she's done such a fantastic job with Eco Barge Clean Seas Inc that this should be expanded," Mr Maine said, outlining his vision for the clean up operation to expand and cover an area from the O'Connell River to Abbot Point.

Ms Edge said whilst Eco Barge Clean Seas Inc was a not-for-profit, non-political organisation, she was of course supportive of any proposal "to take a direct response to help protect our local marine environment".

"It's imperative we do this," she said.

"I've been ready for three years. Let's go."

What the other candidates said

Jennifer Whitney

"Council's jurisdiction is to the high water mark and Council's involvement [with the reef] is really only at an operational level. State Government really is the body that gives the approvals to carry out what needs to be done [in this] ."

Mike Brunker

"We're [already] talking to the resources companies about social infrastructure. The stuff out in the sea is a federal and state [government] issue. Yes, we've lobbied the federal government for more resources money to put into roads, rates etc - the stuff Council deals with."

Grigor Taylor

"Local government has no power to tax or levy a coal company, however [in the inerests of] good public relations they may [choose to] donate money for good will."



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