A Queensland Government investigation has found a coal spillage at a mining port in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.
Queensland’s Department of Environment has been investigating reports from the public about coal washing up on beaches near Mackay.
The coal samples will be laboratory tested to determine the source.
Queensland Environment Minister Steven Miles said at a press conference the penalties for this kind of pollution are “very significant” and fines can range in the order of $800,000 for individuals and $5m for companies.
Conservation groups are concerned for what the spill will mean for the reef.