Friends of the Earth calls on the State Government and the Gladstone Port Corporation to cease all dredging in the Harbour until a comprehensive assessment of its impacts on the local community and ecosystem is undertaken.
The port expansion in Gladstone Harbour is less than 25% complete. The environmental cost is already far to high.
The harbour will support the unbridled expansion of Queensland's coal and gas reserves. Dredging continues on behalf of the big 4 coal seam gas companies and their plans to build 4 separate coal seam gas to LNG compressor stations and port terminals.
Friends of the Earth supports the calls of fishers and highlights the key points of the recent Bligh government science report omitted from media comments from the Minister, the Department of Environment and Resource Management and the science panel speaker:
- the report lacked focus and failed to study the impact of the dredging and only focused on the floods and dam overflow. In doing so it used pre-existing monitoring stations and relied on the resources and technical support of the company carrying out the dredging, namely the Gladstone Ports Corporation.
- admission the scope of the monitoring was less than useful, yet the study was allowed to continue. The report recommends new monitoring and studies. Questions need to be raised at the cost of the study being undertaken when officials knew from the start it would provide little answers. Yet dredging continued.
- lack of data collected of dissolved metals, and organic chemicals in sediments. Clearly highlighting the flawed process. Dredging involves digging into the sea floor and disturbing the mud and sediment (turbidity). Questions need to be answered regarding the logic of conducting a 3 month study and not checking for dissolved chemicals in the water and sediment.
Lacking as it is, the government study has set the stage and paved the way for direct intervention from the Environment Minister to protect Queensland's beautiful Great Barrier Reef and protect the rare and endangered species.
For comment, call Derec Davies on 0421 835 587.
Download the full report here