Oct 19, 2011

Greens Senator: put the brakes on Gladstone dredging

Already 1.7 million cubic metres have been ripped up from the bottom of Gladstone Harbour in the past two months. Alarmingly, there’s still 44 million cubic metres to go, writes Larissa Waters, Greens Senator for Queensland

Two months ago I was in Gladstone, and I was deeply concerned then to see how the interests of big LNG corporations were being put ahead of everyone else in the town. Now, following widespread fish contamination, health impacts, animal deaths and the livelihoods of the entire Gladstone fishing industry on the line — as Crikey has been reporting — I am appalled that dredging is allowed to continue in these circumstances.


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7 thoughts on “Greens Senator: put the brakes on Gladstone dredging

  1. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Good on ya, Larissa, for looking into it. Someone has to do it.

  2. Mark Duffett

    The word ‘contamination’ is thrown around a lot, but I’m still not clear what it actually is. Is there a nasty in the stirred-up sediment, or is the increased turbidity somehow causing the problems directly? The piece by Lionel Elmore mentions bacteria, but doesn’t cite any evidence or plausible mechanism by which this could be related to dredging. Have I missed something?

  3. michael crook

    Yes, Mark, you have missed something. The something you missed was that the 50 years of pollutants from coal stockpiles, red mud from the Alumina, and miscellaneous chemical detritus from a range of industrial facilities is all being stirred up by the massive dredging programme.
    The problem is that the state government, for its own reasons, decided not to even consider the possibility that this might cause a problem. After all, they are in the middle of something that equates to the Californian gold rush of the 1840’s, and have decided to just try and stay on the bucking bronco rather than try to control it. Just a shame that they have allowed the environmental and human health in an area around arguably the most beautiful harbour in Australia to be fatally compromised. There is no return to health for Gladstone, Curtis Island or Port Curtis, it is too late.

  4. kennethrobinson2

    We really are in a new situation, at first impressions, the dredging is certainly stirring something up, which is not nice, the real worry is that it may be permanent.

  5. tinman_au

    Pretty disgusting that the government is putting corporations ahead of peoples limbs and possibly lives…

  6. nicolino

    The one vital asset in attracting tourists to Queensland is about to be sacrificed for the LNG industry. Oh well, there’s always Movie World on the Gold Coast.
    The Deep North is business as usual.

  7. blue bubble

    hmm harbour like pea soup and full of dead animals? Two articles on this today and getting more hysterical in spite of the data and the official advice. Has anyone bothered to speak to a local – apart from the commercial fishos or their lawyer?

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