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May 14th 2013
Port expansion questioned as Xstrata dumps coal export plans

A cargo ship with a tug in the shipping channel? Glencore Xstrata today announced that it has dumped plans to build a coal export terminal at Balaclava Island, 40 km north of Gladstone, citing poor coal market conditions and excess port capacity in Queensland.

“On the very day that comments on the proposed expansion of the Port of Townsville are due to the State Coordinator-General, the coal giant Glencore Xstrata is shelving its plans for port expansion on the grounds of excess port capacity.

The plans for the Ports expansion involve lengthening and deepening the access channel which will require major initial and ongoing dredging - at some points just 1500 metres from some of Magnetic Island's beast beaches. Significant community opposition to the plan has been seen recently when Magnetic Island Nature Care and the MI Community Development Association produced a flyer headed, " Magnetic could become Mud Island" Other major Island organisations expressing concern at the the project include Tourism Operator Businesses Magnetic Island (TOBMI) and the Magnetic Island Ratepayer and Resident's Association (MIRRA).

"Obviously, Balaclava Island is a long way from Townsville and we are not suggesting that
Townsville product could go through there, but port expansion in Queensland is out of control” said North Queensland Conservation Council Coordinator, Wendy Tubman.

“The Port of Townsville was established in 1884, to allow small ships to ply largely local and regional waters. It was not established with an eye to thousands of massive ships travelling the world.

“The port is located in a shallow bay, adjacent to what has been recognised internationally as an environmental icon with Outstanding Universal Value, requiring careful management.

"The highly industrialised port is located in the centre of a major city with a large and growing population and a significant tourism industry.

"The iconic marine environment that the port uses is extremely stressed and at risk. Further expansion will cause permanent, irrevocable and significant damage to the marine environment and image of Townsville and to the Great Barrier Reef and the World Heritage Area.

“It is time to re-consider the sense of a major port in the current location.”

Port expansion questioned as Xstrata dumps coal export plans
Jenny Stirling
May 13th 2013
The economic argument for preservng the Reef is important. But the intrinsic value of the Reef lies in its beauty and scope of bio-diversity. Would we allow anyone to pour dirt on the Mona Lisa?
May 18th 2013
You just don't know what you've got till its gone. If Townsville really wants a highly industrialised port then are the citizens ready to lose so many of the things that we enjoy about living here? Our clean air, reasonably healthy marine environment, our health, the lovely vista and all the activities we enjoy, fishing, boating and so on. Well you can say goodbye to many of these aspects of our life if an industrialised port happens and subsequent other polluting industries that we so desperatly want to attract to Townsville for the sake of 'jobs'.
I grew up in Gladstone, a heavily industrialised port and city. Black coal dust, red bauxite dust coating every surface in my house, aluminium windows being eaten away by the pollution blowing in the prevailing south easterly winds. Myself and many other children suffering asthma throughout childhood, and parents accept it because they make good money. Caustic blow outs from QAL that ate the paint off cars and caused my school to be evacuated on a regular basis. The local beach covered in chunks of coal, and the water stinging when you went for swim. Watching my natural environment being destroyed to make way for a bigger dam to provide more water for the industry. And not to mention destruction of the harbour to make way for more industry....
People of Townsville need to ask them selves how much they appreciate and enjoy the quality of life we have. The development at any cost mentality is not all that it is cracked up to be, and I left Gladstone for a very good reason.
Patrick Gordon Bartlett
May 21st 2013
If you would like proof of the damage that even "small scale" dredging does to our fragile fringe reef, all you need to is go diving, snorkeling or spear fishing on Nelly Bay reef, Picnic reef, Middle reef or any of the headlands on the eastern side of magnetic island... almost all the large stagghorn corals that used to abound in these places are gone. (and its not from the cyclone) when the cutter suction dredge Brisbane is operating in Cleavland Bay the water around Maggie is as turbid as pea soup and every single living thing that can't swim is covered in a suffocating layer of silt and mud... including protected species like clams, corals, seaslugs and starfish. is it worth it? i for one will be long gone before they finish this harbor expansion.
Barb Gibbs
May 23rd 2013
We are already MUD island. When I walk the beach along Nelly Bay and Geoffrey Bay (allegedly a Marine Park) I see nothing but used to be clean and live corals and shells could be viewed without effort. No wonder no tourists want to come back...there are better beaches on the mainland now. Dredging of Gustav Creek and placing putrid mud (from years of mangrove and property waste decay creating toxic concoctions) dumped on Nelly Bay, and huge stormwater runoff going directly into Geoffrey Bay, and very recently having council dig up the putrid toxic mud and spread it further into the bay have destroyed any semblance of reef or clean waters. Too late to wake up, but may not be too late to stop more carnage. Tourists don't mind being ferried into destinations like any other shallow port. WAKE UP TCC!
r. gledhill
June 26th 2013
this council believes that it is not accountable to anyone or anything, except the almighty dollar.
they will go to any lengths to make money. they do not give a hoot for the enviroment.
like bob irwan says . it is your enviroment, but you are going to have to fight for it.
stand up and be counted or lose it.

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