Australia: Qld Govt Should Halt Gladstone Dredging, Says AMCS
The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has called for a halt to planning approvals for further port expansion and dredging in Gladstone until the Independent Review can give its assessment of development impacts.
The panel conducting an independent review into the Port of Gladstone will hold meetings with community and industry groups in Gladstone today.
However, 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 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,” Felicity Wishart from the Australian Marine Conservation Society said.
“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 marine habitat around Gladstone and thousands more coal ships travelling through the Reef every year without significant environmental harm?”
“In the past few weeks, I 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.
“The rush to ship coal and gas through the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef intensifies by the day. Australia must put the brakes on the approval of any new port and infrastructure developments risking the Reef.
“Queenslanders and Australians will need to fight for the Reef if we want it passed on for future generations to enjoy,” she said.
Press Release, April 10, 2013