Lack of knowl­edge

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

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

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