Saturday, 1 December 2012

Did the floods two years ago cause this?

Government authorities and the Gladstone Ports Corporation steadfastly maintain that the major 46 million cubic metre dredging program is not adversely affecting water quality and has nothing to do with a continuing problem with diseased marine life including seafood.

They say the floods almost two years ago were responsible. They say this is still what is killing fish, turtles, oysters, dugong and causing severe rashes on other species such as sharks and stingrays, and "rust spots" eating thru the shells of mudcrabs. 
Aquatic disease specialist Dr Matt Landos, after thorough investigations and on the spot tests, says the most likely cause is the resuspension of dredge plumes which move up to 35 km from the main Western Basin dredging site  and contain a mix of toxins including heavy metals. He has called for the use of silt curtains to help minimise any damage.

Yesterday I visited the Gladstone Marina and took some photos of what used to be a clear blue harbour. Judge for yourselves - could a flood two years ago (smaller than those in Brisbane, Hervey Bay, Bundaberg and Rockhampton) have caused this muddy water, or is it the dredging. For locals, that's a no-brainer.

It also explains why they stopped all dredging for "urgent maintenance" two weeks before the UNESCO delegates visited in March, but the visiting scientists weren't fooled. They called for a thorough investigation into the harbour, which so far remains ignored.
Meanwhile a second shipping channel was recently granted significant project status by the Queensland Government which normally means a project will be fast-tracked. On-going problems with the current project should first be addressed.


  1. Once the government grants a project the status of state significance there is not much that can stand in its way. The gas pipelines that are heading for Gladstone to the LNG plants to which these shipping channels are also going to, have as well been granted this status.
    However there was an important landmark case where a landowner at Eidsvold took QGC to court over not providing information about the project and the landowner won the case.

  2. Just posted this on the Gladstone Harbour thread, but relevant here too: we just got back from the Sunshine Coast yesterday afternoon and I hadn't seen or heard anything about that. Sounds bad but I am not surprised at the cover-up. Meanwhile, last night we attended a Gladstone News Weekly Christmas party at Quoin Island in the middle of the harbour. Conference centre resort style set-up with fantastic food, tame wallabies and kangaroos mingling with guests, a train ride (open carriages) along a rickety track with big king tide lapping the wheels on the late return journey to the fast cat back to Gladstone Marina. Gladstone by night from the water is an amazing sight.
    Yes what looks crap by day is magic at night. There was an old run down resort on the island which we had visited a couple of times over the years but it was in disrepair and not being used when the present owner bought it a few years ago and did a complete revamp (local contractor Bob McCosker). He had it done just in time for the industrial development so has been housing some workers there and running ferries to the worksites but now that has wound down a bit as the LNG plants have opened their own accommodation on Curtis Island so apparently he is looking more at operating as a convention centre/ resort now and hopefully day trippers. It would be great for day trips and kids would love it as he is also operating a turtle rehabilitation centre there with about a dozen turtles in tanks and a pool, recovering from boat strikes and other ailments. The tame marsupials are mainly pretty faced wallabies native to the island but there are also about four grey kangaroos which were originally rescued from road kill pouches on the mainland, so he is obviously an environmentalist at heart. One of the young female roos joined us for dinner and pats, sharing Bob's pavlova and fruit.

  3. Oops that first bit about a cover-up referred to an incident in Gladstone Harbour as posted by Peter Neilsen on the harbour thread.


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