Boat launch opens up new possibilities for rangers
WITH the launch of its first Gladstone-based vessel yesterday morning, a Gidarjil manager said the organisation would look to increase the number of sea rangers operating from Gladstone.
After a few teething problems, Gidarjil Development Corporation staff successfully launched a nine-metre rigid hull inflatable, the Spirit of Port
Curtis from the Gladstone marina.
Tom Osborne, sea ranger manager for Gidarjil Gladstone, said the boat would make a big difference to what Gidarjil rangers could do.
“We expect this boat will double our capacity to address marine studies, surveys, Turtle Watch and Mangrove Watch in this whole Gladstone area,” he said.
“Now that we’ve got this boat, we will be vigorously pursuing more rangers.”
A recent article published by not-for-profit media outlet The Conversation, said Queensland had only a small number of indigenous rangers relative to its size.
Mr Osborne agreed this was an issue.
“It’s early days yet but we believe you would need another four or five rangers in Gladstone alone to effectively carry out the work we need to do,” he said.
“Our intention is to engage as many traditional owners as we can in the sea ranger activities.”
Previously Gidarjil’s sea rangers have relied on the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to carry out their marine monitoring activities.
David Kopelke has put up his hand to skipper the
Spirit of Port Curtis until Gidarjil rangers complet training.
Principal of the Boyne Island Environmental Education Centre, Mr Kopelke said it was “exciting” to see the boat launched after being out of the water for a year.
“We tested everything yesterday, I definitely wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t confident,” he said.
MARINE MONITOR: Skipper David Kopelke launches the Spirit of Port Curtis.