Lack of knowledge
I AM concerned about the seeming lack of real knowledge in the so called debate about the coal port development and reef impact.
I think we are all living here for a common reason: the reef and islands.
Whether we live here running tourist businesses, fishing or farming, I think we all have an appreciation for the reef and islands.
Otherwise we would (or should) be living somewhere else. Somewhere that we do value.
Maybe those business people or politicians who are not from this area yet want to exploit it for their own profit may not fit into this category but almost all the rest of us would jump at any opportunity to get out on the water and fish or dive or sail or motor or camp or snorkel.
So lets agree to disagree on some things but at least as a community recognise we are here because we love the reef.
Interestingly, we have people saying publicly what one group (fishers, farmers, miners) think only to have a prominent member of that group disagree.
It is suggesting to me that these people who like to think they know what's going on actually don't.
I think what is missing is informed discussion.
Note that a miner or a cane farmer may be a fisherman just as much as a hippy or a council worker.
It goes without saying the tourism operators and property developers are "selling" a product and would of course put the condition of their product above all else (you would hope so).
The companies and organisations who want to dredge the marine park and dump the spoil on the reef would have us believe that this will have no impact on our reef.
We only need to look at Gladstone to see that this really cannot be true.
Recreational, tourism and professional fishermen alike down there can see the impact this dredging is having each time they pull in a diseased or deformed fish.
Do we really want to risk that here? Where will the silt plume go?
What area will be impacted by that? How far will the coal dust drift?
Let’s consider this port development carefully before we let people try to divide us. We are all one big group of people who live here because we love and value the reef and islands. Otherwise why would we live here? Paul Jukes PALM GROVE