AMERICAN ice-cream company Ben & Jerry's has been accused of spreading lies about the Great Barrier Reef.
Senator-Elect Matthew Canavan said the company was putting jobs in Central Queensland at risk with a campaign to raise awareness about the threat of intensive dredging, mega ports and shipping highways.
Mr Canavan encouraged people to boycott the brand if they persisted with their Reef Scoop Tour.
"If Ben & Jerry's wants to make this a morality contest I will back Queensland's coal industry every time," he said.
"I love ice-cream, but let's face it, Ben & Jerry's are making a product that lets rich people get fatter.
"Queensland's coal industry helps millions of people in Asia get out of poverty by providing access to cheap and affordable heating and energy."
Mr Canavan denied dredging in the reef was toxic and said the 3 million cubic metres of dredged materials to be removed in a mixture of sand, silt and clay.
He also said Abbott Point will be placed in an area with no hard coral or seagrass which represents 0.0005% of the reef.
"Abbot Point will not create shipping highways," he said.
"More than 5000 ships travel through the Great Barrier Reef every year, and there is no evidence that they damage the reef at the moment."
Around 55 thousands people are employed in Australia's coal industry.
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