Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Call to halt Gladstone port development proposals

From the Queensland Telegraph which is now finally on line with a website up and running (hallelujah!)

By John Mikkelsen

A MAJOR national conservation group has called for a halt to planning approvals for further port expansion and dredging in Gladstone Harbour until an independent review can give its assessment of development impacts.

The review panel is conducting an investigation for the Federal Government and held meetings in Gladstone last week.
But it is not expected to report its findings until June 30, just outside the deadline originally sought by UNESCO following a delegates’ mission last year.
A halt to further development and dredging approvals was sought by The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) which criticised new development proposals while the review was in progress.
“Planning approval activity such as last week’s release of the channel duplication Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) guidelines continue without the benefit of the review’s report into the impacts of existing development,” the society’s campaign director Felicity Wishart said.
“The Newman Government can’t be much interested in the outcomes of the independent review if it is pushing ahead with fast-tracking industrial activity before the findings on development impacts is released.
“We know Gladstone Harbour and the reef are already under serious stress. Further port expansion, 12 million more cubic metres of dredging and increased shipping would speed up its decline.
“The Gladstone EIS guidelines navigate around the central question: How can you have millions of tonnes of dredge spoil dumped in World Heritage Area marine habitat around Gladstone and thousands more coal ships travelling through the reef every year without significant environmental harm?”
Ms Wishart said she had recently sailed down the Fitzroy Delta and The Narrows into Gladstone Harbour.
“The contrast between the pristine environment to the north and the degradation of the harbour environment is shocking,” she claimed.


  1. Maybe one of the Clever Dicks (or Dales or Alans) could explain why the link in the main post is not active. Been very busy and preoccupied with other stuff lately and still I don't have time to fiddle.

  2. (I thought that main posts links were automatically active, or used to be, but seems that's not so...)

  3. Active now, John. You have to use the link button on the line of tools.

  4. Good comment on the QT website: Andrew Jeremijenko
    April 16, 2013 at 4:16 pm
    Good article. We have lost over 50% of coral on the Great Barrier Reef in the last 27 years and will lose another 50% in 10 years. We know that crown of thorns epidemics have contributed about to about 40% of the coral loss. Sediment and nutrients worsen Crown of Thorns outbreaks. Normally one a million babies survive, but with high nutrients a much higher proportion survive. The amount of dredging planned for these ports will contribute to high sediment and nutrients. The dredge spoil will either be dumped in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area or in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The planned dumping of spoil is over 50 times more than the sediment deposited from the rivers after a severe flooding event.
    This lecture shows how the Great Barrier Reef is being destroyed. Government policy could protect it or destroy it. As Professor Hughes said the government funding to address the crown of thorns outbreaks is like using a butterfly nest to stop a plague of locusts. We need real funding e.g. 12 billion dollars like the Murray River Valley Basin and we need to pause the developments and dredging. Do we really want to live in a state and a country that has destroyed the Great Barrier Reef, a world wonder, a tourism icon, a scientific paradise and a 6 bilion dollar a year economic asset .


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