Spill has stain of disrespect for our Reef
LET’S hope those responsible for the oil spill on North Queensland beaches are brought to justice.
Given the scale of the spill, it is inconceivable that the perpetrators would not have been aware of the ugly black stain they were leaving on the Great Barrier Reef.
Blobs of oil have been spotted along a 250km stretch of coastline, including at Hinchinbrook Island, Lucinda, Palm Island and Forrest Beach.
Although a significant event, it does not appear the Reef has suffered any longterm damage.
It is, however, a reminder of how vulnerable the North’s coastline is to major oil spills and reaffirms the need for stringent regulation of shipping in the World Heritage area.
Maritime Safety Queensland has so far tracked down nine of 14 ships travelling through the area at the time, and taken oil samples for testing. The results of those tests are pending. The shipping industry has always been important to the North.
But residents do not take kindly to anyone flouting the law when it comes to protecting the Reef.
Once caught, those responsible need to be sent a strong message that the Reef is not a dumping ground.
Any penalty imposed should include a hefty fine that hits them in the hip pocket where it hurts. Statehood an issue in North too TALK of the Northern Territory becoming Australia’s seventh state is understandably stirring up advocates of statehood for North Queensland.
After all, more people live here in NQ than the whole of NT.
Our economy is also bigger than that of the Territory.
North Queensland residents already feel they are under- represented in the Federal Parliament.
That frustration is likely to increase if NT gets the nod to become its own state.