The Queensland Greens state that the dismissal by the Gladstone Ports Corporation of their own monitoring data is a sign that they have been allowed to escape environmental regulation for too long.
‘If members of the public flagrantly violated the law they would expect to be penalised,’ Queensland Greens state spokesperson Libby Connors said today.
‘Turbidity causes a range of human and environmental health problems. That is why the Gladstone Ports Corporation’s environmental licence requires them to monitor it.
‘Their refusal to stop dredging because of high tides is like a car driver refusing to slow down when driving down hill. If the police caught someone driving at 140 km an hour it is not an excuse to say but I was going down hill.
‘For twelve months now we have had GPC blaming high tides. The natural tidal variation is something that they must be required to take into account and halt operations.
‘They must dredge to the conditions just as the driving public are required by law to drive to the conditions.’
Spokesperson Libby Connors also criticised Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney’s response to the high turbidity data.
‘If the Deputy Premier thinks that the Gladstone monitoring stations are “a political football” then he is not a fit and proper person to have responsibility for a ministry.
‘The marine degradation of Gladstone Harbour was one of the factors that brought down the Bligh government.
‘The only extremists have been those who have sought to fudge data and deny the significance of widespread fish disease in the harbour.’
Mr Seeney is touring the LNG facilities on Curtis Island today. The Greens say that any attempt to minimise the clearing, land reclamation and pole driving in the waters off the island will be a breach of the LNP’s election promise.
‘Campbell Newman promised greater and better regulation of the coal and gas industry.
‘I hope that the new government will begin by finding ways to improve the public and environmental health issues that have arisen from the disastrous development around the harbour.’
Contact: Libby Connors 0429 487 110;
Queensland Greens, PO Box 661, Albion BC, 4010