Aerial view of Abbot Point, the most northerly deepwater coal port in Australia. Two of the board members of the authority that approved the dumping of 3 million cubic metres of dredging spoil in the Great Barrier Reef waters are still involved in an investigation for potential conflicts of interest, including links to mining companies. Photograph: AAP

By Bridie Jabour   
3 February 2014

(theguardian.com) – Two of the board members of the authority that approved the dumping of 3 million cubic metres of dredging spoil in the Great Barrier Reef waters are still involved in an investigation for potential conflicts of interest, including links to mining companies.

The environment minister, Greg Hunt, ordered a probity inquiry last October into the appointments of the former Townsville mayor Tony Mooney and a Queensland public servant, Jon Grayson, to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) by the former Labor government.

Potential conflicts of interest were raised by ABC’s 7.30 with Grayson setting up and owning a one-sixth shareholding in the inactive Gasfields Water and Waste Services, a company which could benefit from a growth in the gas industry and which corrupt former Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid’s son, Eddie Obeid jnr, also had a one-sixth shareholding in for a time.

Mooney earns $250,000 as an executive for the mining company Guildford Coal.

Last week the marine park authority approved the dumping of 3m cubic metres of dredge spoil in Great Barrier Reef waters at Abbot Point, near Bowen in north Queensland, in a move widely criticised by environmentalists. [more]

Great Barrier Reef park directors still face conflict of interest questions

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