Australia: Concerns Grow Over Gladstone Harbor Dredging
Australian Greens senator Larissa Waters elevated concerns over dredging in Gladstone Harbor in Queensland and a corresponding increase in turtle deaths and fish disease.
Approvals to dredge 46 million cubic meters over the following 20 years have been granted to the Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC). So far, 1.5 million cubic meters have been dredged.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority chairman Russell Reichelt believes that the dredging accounts for an “unacceptable risk to marine life on the reef”.
However, Senator Stephen Conroy said: “No links were found between the fish disease and water quality.”
Senator Conroy said the dredging was carried out in accordance with “stringent conditions of approval and environmental management plans” and the latest testing had found a “parasitic flatworm” was the cause of the fish disease in Barramundi.
Senator Waters warned the Senate “the reef may now be in danger of losing World Heritage status” because of the dredging and future development.
UNESCO demands from the federal government to provide a strategic evaluation of coastal development.
Senator Conroy committed himself by a promise to look for more information.
Dredging Today Staff, December 8, 2011; Image: westernbasinportdevelopment