OCEAN LAB: GREAT BARRIER GRIEF

4 Corners report on iView here: http://www.abc.net.au/iview/?series=2303988#/view/851259 * including an extra video interview with Associate Prof Jon Brodie who details the study of coral in reading the Reef’s health.

 

Gladstone Harbour. The rectangle is the Eastern Banks spoil disposal area. The blue line is Great Barrier Reef Marine Park boundary. Red line is Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area boundary. Aurecon (2010)

This is a pretty massively disturbing story about the coal seam gas development at Curtis Island off the coast of Gladstone and at other marine and port sites in Queensland. The Curtis Island site is seeing a massive dredging and land ‘reclamation’ project which is, not surprisingly, causing concern for many. The Bligh government is plugging the usual, frustratingly limited jobs/economy line with British-owned company QCG making dubious claims that, “Together, we’re doing good things for Queensland.

“In this report, Marian Wilkinson travels to Queensland to assess claims that at least six major port developments – either being planned or currently underway – could potentially put the Reef in jeopardy and destroy industries, like fishing, that rely on their proximity to it.

Coal seam gas is a massive undertaking. It’s estimated there are now close to 4,000 wells in Queensland. That number will grow tenfold over the next 20 years. The plan is to take a lot of that gas to Curtis Island, off Gladstone in the World Heritage Area, where it will be processed and exported.

To service the huge liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers and expand its coal loading capacity, Gladstone Ports Corporation is now undertaking the biggest dredging operation ever attempted inshore from the Great Barrier Reef.

Part of the spoil dredged up will be taken out to sea to a dump site within one kilometre of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.”

Read more about the issues here:

Reef chief recommends port rethink

Save Curtin Island

Capricorn Conservation Council

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