Mine water to threaten Great Barrier Reef: Aussie Greens

Plans to allow additional mines to release excess water into Queensland rivers will threaten the health of the Great Barrier Reef, according the Australian Greens.

A new government-supported pilot program will grant more miners access to the practice in the coming months.

Greens senator Larissa Waters had heavy criticism Thursday for the plan:

"This is Campbell Newman putting our waterways at risk to save the big mining companies a few dollars," said Waters.

"With many of our rivers flowing into the Great Barrier Reef, the Newman government is also jeopardising water quality of this World Heritage Area."

"The Newman government continues to ignore UNESCO's warning that the reef could be added to the list of World Heritage sites in danger within a year because it's being overrun by development."

Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney says mine water release will only occur under 'strict environmental conditions' and coal miners must first prove improvement of their water management.

"[The miners] will have to make a substantial investment in this area to receive the benefits from increases in release opportunities."