Shoalwater Bay Wilderness Awareness Group media release Mon 21st july
Locally based Shoalwater Wilderness Awareness Group (SWAG ) is deeply concerned about the recent announcement of a coal terminal in Shoalwater Bay. SWAG has been assessing currently available information released by the premier Anna Bligh and Waratah Coal, regarding the coal facility at Port Clinton 40km north of Byfield adjoining the National Park. Information released indicates plans are further developed than SWAG was previously led to believe. While details are still sketchy, the scale and purpose of the project, the proposed site inside a military reserve surrounded by Great barrier Reef 'Green Zones" all raise grave concerns for the environment and for public health.
"Port Clinton is one of the most important parts of the Shoalwater/Byfield Wilderness Area", SWAG spokesman and Byfield resident Steve Bishopric said."It is a 20km by 10 km sheltered , very shallow bay with a rock bar running across its middle and a moving sand bar across its mouth. It is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna.The Shoalwater Bay region, with RAMSAR listed wetlands and subject to two migratory bird treaties ,includes seagrass meadows that feed Queensland's endangered dugong population. The massive dredging required to make this a deep water port would have devastating consequences on the Great Barrier Reef."
"Port Clinton is less than 10 km from the Waterpark Creek catchment, which is the Capricorn Coasts water supply and any coal dust pollution will be carried via Waterpark Creek to the Byfield National Park and Yeppoon beaches. Other sites proposed even closer to the Byfield National Park pose an even greater risk."
Australian Defence forces regularly use Shoalwater Bay for major international combined forces training. This involves closure of the entire area and exercises, some involving USA Aircraft carrier battle groups some vessels nuclear powered, Airforce and Army. It is total madness to even consider this proposal with Bulk carriers anchoring in the middle of Australia's largest war games, in a green Zone of the GBRMNP and adjoining the Byfield National Park." Steve concluded.
SWAG will be supporting the Capricorn Conservation Council's public meeting and panel discussion, with invited guests, at the Yeppoon Town Hall on Wednesday 30th July at 7pm. All Welcome.
See also: www.shoalwaterbay.org, www.cccqld.org.au, Capricornia Conservation Council fights expansion of Queensland coal industry, Coal port proposal another insult to Queensland's biggest wilderness region, comment added by CoalPortal on 17 Nov 2011 and reposted here.
What you can do: attend public meeting at Yeppoon Town Hall, Wednesday 30th July at 7pm. Phone 07 4938 1818.