Ab­bott Point

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS - John Tide­man PROSER­PINE

THOSE who op­pose the dredg­ing of Ab­bott Point (read tourism in­dus­try) should look in their own back­yard for the real dam­age they do.

I am old enough to re­mem­ber Air­lie and the is­lands be­fore all the na­tive for­est was cleared to make way for those hor­rid con­crete ed­i­fices. I re­mem­ber muddy bay be­fore they rooted out the man­groves to build Port of Air­lie. Noth­ing said about that.

How much fuel do you think those jets tak­ing off from Hamil­ton Is­land spew into the sea?

Then we have the dis­as­ter that is La­guna Quays and fur­ther north, Port Hinch­in­brook.

On the other hand I have worked at all three coal ports.

They do not de­stroy the en­vi­ron­ment but ac­tu­ally cre­ate one.

Hay Point has been dredged for over thirty years, where the spoil is dumped near Round Top Is­land is ac­tu­ally a well known fish­ing spot.

While work­ing on an ex­pan­sion at Dally Bay a whale and her calf stayed right be­side the jetty for about a week de­spite all the noise, the divers told of schools of sharks, barra and jew un­der the jetty when they cleaned up.

Vic­tor Is­land just to the south of Hay Point has some of the best live co­ral reef around and is also a well known fish­ing spot.

Salonika Beach right next door is one of the most pris­tine beaches around Mackay.

Where the spoil will be dumped at Ab­bott Point is ac­tu­ally on cal­ci­fied lime­stone, the spoil will ac­tu­ally cre­ate a fish friendly en­vi­ron­ment, there is no way it will af­fect the bar­rier reef.

Think how much mud has come down our great river sys­tems over the last twenty thou­sand years, and still the reef thrives.

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