From the ed­i­tor's desk

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY NEWS AND VIEWS -

THE news this week that the Ab­bott Point ex­pan­sion has been ap­proved by the Fed­eral Govern­ment has been met with a mixed re­ac­tion in the com­mu­nity.

En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Greg Hunt says the ap­proval has very strict en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions.

Some lo­cal tourist op­er­a­tors be­lieve that even with strict con­di­tions, dredg­ing should not oc­cur and noth­ing should be ap­proved that has the po­ten­tial to dam­age the Great Bar­rier Reef.

Other peo­ple see it as an eco­nomic boost for the re­gion that will see more job se­cu­rity.

The other big an­nounce­ment this week was the State Govern­ment’s ap­proval of the ma­rina devel­op­ment at Shute Har­bour – and this has also been met with mixed re­ac­tions.

Some peo­ple don’t be­lieve Shute Har­bour should be de­vel­oped and are con­cerned about the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts.

Oth­ers are sim­ply con­cerned about the eco­nomic vi­a­bil­ity of such a project given that we al­ready have two mari­nas in town which have both pre­vi­ously gone into ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Time will tell whether or not that devel­op­ment goes ahead and whether or not it’s vi­able. Given we have had some dif­fi­cult eco­nomic times in re­cent years in the Whit­sun­days, there are cer­tainly a lot of things in the pipe­line that point to a bet­ter eco­nomic fu­ture.

We just need to en­sure this is all done sen­si­bly and that the af­fect on our en­vi­ron­ment is taken into ac­count on ev­ery devel­op­ment.

On an­other mat­ter...

Next week, the Whit­sun­day Times will be pub­lished as nor­mal on De­cem­ber 19.

We will then close for a week and there will be no edi­tion of the Whit­sun­day

Times on Box­ing Day – Thurs­day De­cem­ber 26. Pub­lish­ing will re­turn to nor­mal on Thurs­day, Jan­uary 2.

Leanne Aber­nethy

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