The Courier-Mail

Turtle nests destroyed

Marine Park authority wades into Keswick Island environmen­tal concerns

- MELANIE WHITING IN THE WHITSUNDAY­S

A NATURAL resource regulator says it is working with the State Government to address reports of environmen­tal damage on Keswick Island.

It comes after Dawson MP George Christense­n spoke on the matter in parliament.

Mr Christense­n said he had arranged a meeting between Keswick Island Progress Associatio­n members and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority last Friday. The reports of environmen­tal damage raised include claims a turtle nest was destroyed because of beach grading, land clearing to make way for a new boat and trailer parking area and coral “smothered in sediment”.

Mr Christense­n said authority staff had agreed to reach out to the state government to ask for the reports to be investigat­ed.

He said that it would look into the reports as well.

The Dawson MP again called for the state government to terminate China Bloom’s head lease on Keswick Island.

“GBRMPA told us that the right authority to police (Keswick Island) was the state government,” Mr Christense­n said.

“However, GBRMPA were concerned enough about the reports and the material they saw that they’re going to write to the State Government asking for the matter to be investigat­ed and they also said they would have their investigat­ion team look over it in case there were any breaches.”

The Daily Mercury put these comments to the authority, with a spokeswoma­n confirming it had recently met with concerned residents from Keswick Island.

“We are in contact with the lease holder, through our permitting process, to understand all their facilities located within the marine park,” a GBRMPA spokeswoma­n said.

“Where marine park issues cover both Commonweal­th and Queensland jurisdicti­ons we work jointly with the Queensland Government. We are doing so in this instance.”

China Bloom has previously said, as the latest head lessor, it was working through “inherited issues” on Keswick Island.

“China Bloom is working productive­ly with the council on ensuring all inherit works are compliant,” it said.

 ??  ?? Keswick Island.
Keswick Island.

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