A further discarding of two tonnes of diseased Gladstone fish by the Brisbane Raptis Fish Market confirms that the government is on the wrong course in its management of Gladstone Harbour.
The local Gladstone fish market has been warning of the ongoing problems in the harbour for a year now. It discarded 600 tonnes of diseased fish last September.
UNESCO has sent a clear message that they are taking the threat of mass dredging to the World Heritage status of the Great Barrier Reef seriously, setting out comprehensive terms of reference for their Reactive Monitoring Mission.
Gladstone Ports blames toxic turbidity in World Heritage Area on spring tide loophole.
The Queensland Greens have called on the Department of Environment and Resource Management to amend Gladstone Ports Corporation environmental licence conditions so that it excludes the natural variation clause and high turbidity is appropriately managed when turbidity levels are exceeded.
“Turbidity levels in the dredge plume site (ST1) were exceeded for 4 days over Christmas from 23rd to the 27th ," Queensland Greens state spokesperson, Dr Libby Connors said this afternoon.
“This was a toxic Christmas present for Gladstone harbour, but the data was not released until today, so the public were unaware of the dangers during this holiday period.”
The Gladstone ports have stated today that "the primary cause was the high spring tides experienced in the harbour." The Gladstone Ports Corporation also confirmed letters were sent out last month to state and federal MP's seeking support to remove the Gladstone Harbour from the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
The Queensland Greens say that revelations that the Coordinator General had urged compensation for the loss of Gladstone fisheries is as big a betrayal of the Queensland people as the ALPs privatisation of public assets.
Queensland Greens state spokesperson Libby Connors was responding to the latest news reports on coal port and coal seam gas developments along the Queensland coast.
The Queensland Greens have today urged the community to be on their guard over state government spin in its response to the final Gladstone fish health report due before the end of the year.
"We have had months of refusal by the government to intervene in the massive dredging program by Gladstone Ports Corporation even while there have been record deaths of sea turtles, dolphins and dugong.
"They have done this by claiming the high turbidity levels were natural events and arguing there is no proof of any link between diseased marine life and turbidity," Queensland Greens state spokesperson Libby Connors said this afternoon.
"But according to the interim report released in early December only three barramundi have undergone toxicological testing.
"We are worried that this is going to make it very difficult for the scientific panel to present any definitive findings," Dr Connors said.
The Queensland Greens today criticised the Dredge Technical Reference Panel appointed by Gladstone Ports Corporation to provide technical advice to the Ports Corporation and to state government regulators for its lack of independence.
"The claim that it is independent is more spin in a state government media environment which is overloaded with confusion and misinformation," Queensland Greens state spokesperson Dr Libby Connors said this afternoon.
Dr Connors said it was important that the public were aware of its status given the panel was meeting in Gladstone today.
The Queensland Greens say that news that marine disease has now spread to prawns in Gladstone harbour confirms their worst fears regarding the seriousness of the ecosystem collapse occurring there and warned that failure to act swiftly would endanger the entire Queensland seafood&nbs