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.