Saturday, 11 May 2013

Old hands tell good reef story

For those who only get to read the scaremongering of the "experts" who sit in their ivory towers in front of a computer in some far off office, a story published today in the Cairns Post gives a different perspective.
This perspective is one which locals and those who actually know the reef have agreed upon consistently.
Ben Cropp has been diving reefs worldwide and particularly the Great Barrier Reef for sixty years. He is a marine life filmmaker. 

One would expect that he would be more qualified to comment on the health of the reef than those who sit in offices theorising about what "might" happen and trying to damage the integrity of the reef in our areas.
Why would someone in America or Brisbane/Sydney/Melbourne etc. in the comfort of their air-conditioning be more qualified to have their theories believed than those who actually love, live and work in the area consistently for decades?
Anna Bligh came to Cairns for one day a few years ago and was able to go away claiming that the damage from run-off was so terrible. Her expertise was that she put her hand over the side of a boat for a picture shoot!!!!!!! How would she know and where is she now?? 

I am including a link to a story published in the Port Douglas Newsport last year. Peter Wright and Ben Cropp both marine experts with decades spent on the Great Barrier Reef.

Here is another story which was in the paper earlier this week:
More scaremongering from those who want to stop any industry or enjoyment. The Reef is shown to be in good condition by those who actually know the area.


  1. A great report, Beverley!

    It's always refreshing to hear commonsense, eye witness accounts of a situation. So different from that of some academic sitting in front of a computer screen someplace far removed, as you say.

    Some of Townsville's James Cook University academics who have had many years of 'hands on' experience with the Reef, such as Professors Walter Starck and Peter Ridd, have also in recent times verified the Reef 's healthy condition.

  2. Drs Walter Starck & Peter Ridd have certainly been fearless in speaking out in an achedemic world that is either blinded by an ideology or cowered by being able to access research funds. Walter Starck can be described as an old hand while Peter Ridd is a much younger man.

    Reef Alarmists Jump The Shark is an article written by Walter Starck in October 2012 about the then recently released report into the reef that claimed that 50% of the reef was lost.

    "While the news reports present the appearance of scientific precision and certainty, examination of the study itself reveals a number of doubtful assumptions, undisclosed conditions and instances where strong conflicting evidence is unmentioned"

  3. It is so frustrating that people listen to those who have least to do with the reef - while the real custodians and locals who have real life experience of knowing the reef more intimately than most and who least of all would want to see any damage to the reef are laughed off just because they don't have a piece of paper to say they have a science degree. These experienced men as well as the Scientists at James Cook University - again right on the spot - insist that the reef is in as good a situation as it was thirty or forty years ago. The agenda behind this global warming industry is certainly giving a lot of grief that is unnecessary. Not only do some wish to get rid of farmers in Australia, it seems they want to clost the reef down as well. This tunnel vision attitude is going to be the downfall of this country.

    1. There are some radical organisations that are unfairly denigrating many things that are not as they claim. These people have their own agenda and their own narrow band of vision in relation to many things, one of them being the Great Barrier Reef.
      Some of these organisations are doing great damage to the genuine people who are trying to get justice in particular areas, such as Gladstone.
      People outside of this area see people fighting to save the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area in this area and assume that they are all green, lefty loonies because they are the ones who make the most noise, (mostly Hollow noise)
      Gladstone is a unique situation where the Gladstone Ports Corporation were given far too much power and they are not answerable to the people, in fact until the last election the GPC dictated to the Govt what they wanted and the executive of the GPC at the time having strong connection with Labor Holdings (the commercial arm of the Labor Party in Queensland) got whatever they wanted from the Govt.

      This meant that they did as they pleased and deliberately bulldozed and dredged thousands of hectares of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area to allow too many LNG plants and more coal terminals than could comfortably fit into the Gladstone harbour. Much of the dredge spoil is being dumped into the ocean within the GBR.

      in 2 years, the quiet pristine harbour changed to a virtual sewer where more than 55 million cubic metres of the sea floor in being dredged and the number of vessels crossing the harbour each day went from far less than 100 to 700 crossings per day.
      The entire Marine area and the Islands (including Curtis Island) are totally within the GBRWHA which, like UNESCO or not, is the only protection that the marine and island environments within the GRB has to protect it.
      Gladstone Ports Corporation supported by the State Govt are moving to try and have 1,000 square kilometres of the GBRWHA removed from all environmental protection. This is real and this is what we are fighting for.
      The Conservation groups with their agendas want their back yard left alone and are trying to get the Govt to shove more into Gladstone. So much for the wonderful weekend warrior Greenies.

  4. Too true Peter. It;s all very well to claim that the Great Barrier Reef is in :great shape" but its a big reef which extends to south of Gladstone and the southern section is definitely under threat, regardless of what Ben Cropp or Walter Starck might say. What we are seeing here in terms of environmental damage and what the environmentalists and Green groups have also seen, is fact. Turtles, dugong and fish aren't hypochondriacs. Millions of tonnes of toxic dredge material has been dumped inside the World Heritage Area and right beside the GBR Marine Park, where currents take the suspended acid sulphate soils and toxic heavy metals out into the surrounding reef well outside Gladstone Harbour.
    Abbot Point near Bowen will be next cab off the rank, with the planned dumping of dredge spoil directly into the GBR marine park. If it takes an international organisation such as UNESCO to call for proper controls to protect the Reef, bring it on!

    1. I bought a big bag of apples this morning and they were beautiful apples accept for one which was rotten.
      It is the same with the GBR, probably 90% is not doing too bad but the other 10% is being destroyed and rotten.

      This does not mean that the bag of apples should be tossed out, nor does it mean that it should be claimed that the bag of apples is all in good condition.

      Gladstone is a unique situation where all levels of Government have helped to send the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area rotten and if the rot is not stopped now, the whole bag of apples (reef) will go rotten.

  5. Big story in The Observer this morning about "conflicts of interest" delaying monitoring of the dredge project, and an interestung comment below at
    EnJem from Gladstone 31 minutes ago:
    Re "The ports spokesman said another factor in the delays to such surveys was the time frame for the dredging project, which was reduced from an original three-year proposal to 15 months.... so it was always planned that a large number of studies would be done post-dredging and they will continue to be done once the Tier 1 projects are in place," he said. 
That explains a lot. Rush the project through, keeping dredging during floods, spring tides, strong winds, sick marine life, and study the environmental disaster this is creating after its all completed. What a ridiculous attitude.

  6. It's called 'adaptive management' and yes the reality is as you wrote above Mikko

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.


Welcome to a place that has a focus (but not exclusively) on regional and rural Australia open for anyone living anywhere to read, learn and interact. Please feel free to make a comment.

You can use some HTML codes such as, a for active; b for bold; i for italics

Active code - substitute a for @
<@ href="web address">linked words

[Click Here] for a link to another site where there is a very good simple explanation.