(As published in full in the Townsville Bulletin, Tuesday 3 October, 2017 - "Dredging spells stress")
Port Expansion – not with a bang but a whimper!
The decision of the Queensland Coordinator General to approve the massive expansion of the Townsville Port is another sad day for anyone genuinely interested in the beauty, the attractiveness and liveability of Townsville.
Yes, the project was subject to environmental impact assessment, but to call this rigorous is not true. The system involves the port employing consultants to prepare a report on the impact of the proposed development. Public comments on this report are considered (or dismissed) by the port and it is the port who delivers the findings to the government. The fox is well and truly in charge of the hen-house.
The widening, deepening and endless annual maintenance dredging of the port access channel will have direct impacts on the reefs, sea grasses and marine environment on which many marine species (including dugongs, dolphins, turtles and fish) depend, and which generations of Townsvilleans have enjoyed over life times. With annual dumping of hundreds of thousands of maintenance dredge spoil in the waters between Magnetic Island and Cleveland Bay and this being continually re-suspended by currents and wind driven waves, how could this be otherwise?
Residents and visitors to the island will tell you that the reefs and marine environment have been declining for decades – the marine tourism experience for our children, ourselves and our tourists is much diminished, shamefully, on our watch.Read more
The #StopAdani Roadshow returns to Townsville on 27 April after the original event was cancelled due to Cyclone Debbie. Organisers are expecting to the 400 seat theatre at Event Cinema.
“The momentum to Stop Adani just keeps growing. We are excited by how many North Queenslanders are getting behind this event and joining the movement to Stop Adani” says North Queensland Conservation Council coordinator Maree Dibella.
“Communities are putting on film screenings in Port Douglas, Cairns, Mackay and Rockhampton. There are over 110 community groups leading campaigns in their towns and suburbs, with 12 just in regional Queensland.Read more
Today in Canberra, veteran environmentalist Bob Brown will join community leaders from around the country to launch the ‘Stop Adani Alliance’ and build the biggest movement in Australia’s history to stop Adani’s dangerous coal mine and end coal for good.
North Queensland Conservation Council (NQCC) is a founding member of the Alliance.
NQCC co-ordinator Maree Dibella said, “It’s great to see people from around the country join our fight to stop the Adani’s mine from going ahead. I know there is a lot of local support here in Townsville for this campaign, but I also know we can’t win this on our own.”Read more
In an expected but infuriating and unreasonable move, the Queensland government yesterday approved an environmental authority (EA) for Adani in relation to what is being referred to as ‘the $16 billion Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project’. The obvious flaw in this title is, of course, that Adani does not have the $16 billion – and has precious little chance of raising it.
The EA is the second last legislative approval needed – the last being a mining lease. This will be approved (or not!) by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines, the bailiwick of Dr Andrew Lytham. Minister Lytham has said that he is not interested in ‘fast-tracking’ the project (a request of Adani and Townsville Enterprise Limited, amongst others) and that it has to go through due process.Read more