LET­TERS

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

Coal or al­gae?

IT WAS re­ported in the pressthat the Ab­bot Point coal ter­mi­nal north of Bowen is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the Qld Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment & Her­itage Pro­tec­tion for re­leas­ing coal con­tam­i­nated water, over and above the spe­cial li­cence it was granted, dur­ing the re­cent Cy­clone Deb­bie event.

The ter­mi­nal is ac­cused of pol­lut­ing the Ca­ley Val­ley wet­lands and the ad­ja­cent GBR waters and faces multi mil­lion dol­lar fines for do­ing so.

In light of this, does Cr Mike Brunker still stick by his claim that the pol­lu­tion seen in aerial pho­tos of the wet­lands and beaches is due to al­gae?

If so, I think we could all re­flect on some of his other pro­nounce­ments pub­lished in the Whit­sun­day Times in the past.

In re­al­ity this is an in­di­ca­tion of just how des­per­ate the pro­po­nents of the ex­pan­sion of coal ex­ports from North Queens­land are.

They cling to the be­lief that “coal is good for Aus­tralia” when it clearly isn’t, and they are pre­pared to say or do any­thing to com­bat sen­si­ble ar­gu­ments against it.

There are very few long term jobs in the coal in­dus­try - but there are in tourism. The Great Bar­rier Reef can pro­vide last­ing eco­nomic ben­e­fits, pro­vided that it is well pro­tected. It is a sus­tain­able re­source - un­like coal which will prob­a­bly fall out of favour as a source of en­ergy in more en­light­ened coun­tries long be­fore ev­ery last bit has been mined - leav­ing NQ with a stranded re­source.

What do you do with a huge hole in the ground, a dis­used coal port and bil­lion dol­lar rail­way line which goes nowhere?

Of course the GBR has been badly dam­aged in this re­gion by Cy­clone Deb­bie, but it can re­cover from that pro­vided it is given the right con­di­tions to do so. That means oceans which are not con­stantly heat­ing up and be­com­ing more acidic due to el­e­vated lev­els of car­bon diox­ide in the at­mos­phere.

You sim­ply can’t have a vi­able GBR and a mas­sive

in­crease in coal ex­trac­tion and burn­ing. It seems that Mr Brunker is obliv­i­ous to all this though. In fact his mind­set is strik­ingly sim­i­lar in some ways to the coal he and his fel­low Adani fans (Turn­bull, Palaszczuk, Lyne­ham, Chris­tensen etc) seek to mine they are both out of date in the mod­ern world.

Un­ac­cept­able

ADANI faces a pos­si­ble multi-mil­lion-dol­lar fine af­ter sed­i­ment water eight times above au­tho­rised lev­els was dis­charged from the Ab­bot Point coal ter­mi­nal last month.

You read that right, Adani ex­ceeded the per­mit­ted lev­els

by a stag­ger­ing 800%.

Coal-laden water passed through a mon­i­tor­ing lo­ca­tion ad­ja­cent to the Great Bar­rier Reef World Her­itage area.

This is a com­pletely un­ac­cept­able out­come from an in­ter­na­tional com­pany that has a his­tory of en­vi­ron­men­tal de­struc­tion over­seas, and shows that Adani are not a fit and proper com­pany to op­er­ate on the shores of our Great Bar­rier Reef or any­where near the arte­sian basin. They sim­ply can’t be trusted with our en­vi­ron­ment. This ma­jor breach re­in­forces the fact that no mat­ter how many rules and reg­u­la­tions are put in place by gov­ern­ments, harm­ful en­vi­ron­men­tal breaches will still oc­cur. It also raises

ques­tions about Adani’s abil­ity to self-mon­i­tor its en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact at the Ab­bot Point site.

The Queens­land en­vi­ron­ment depart­ment says it is con­sid­er­ing ac­tion against the com­pany, putting to rest the false­hoods spruiked by both Adani and ill-in­formed politi­cians of ev­ery level that no im­proper dis­charge had oc­curred.

Our ship­wrecks

WELL it looks like there is a lot of wrecked boats around again and ev­ery­one will want to know what to do with them.

Why not take them to sea and dump them as dive sites

and ar­ti­fi­cial reefs? You want tourists to come here, so give them some­thing to see. I’m sure the char­ter peo­ple will tell you where the best places are.

Peo­ple love to dive and fish when they come here, so think about it for the ben­e­fit of ev­ery­one. Ar­ti­fi­cial reefs will also pro­tect the Bar­rier Reef and do less an­chor dam­age.

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