The Australian committee of the International Union for Conservation and Nature (IUCN) has warned of a tenfold increase in shipping on the Great Barrier Reef associated with existing and proposed port development projects. Much of it will be going through channels within a marine park far narrower than the English Channel.

When the IUCN arrives next week to inspect the liquefied natural gas development on Curtis Island in the World Heritage area, all the dredging in Gladstone will be suspended "for maintenance".