News

Fishermen claim dredging impact covered up by GPC

The Rotterdam cutter suction dredge on Gladstone Harbour.
The Rotterdam cutter suction dredge on Gladstone Harbour. David Sparkes

CLAIMS of a cover-up over Gladstone's massive dredging project could be key to a fishing industry class action against Gladstone Ports Corporation.

Fisherman Trevor Falzon is leading the class action, which includes more than 20 fishermen, crabbers and trawlers who want more compensation for alleged lost fishing grounds.

It's the second case fishers have brought against the port, claiming they weren't adequately compensated for the Western Basin Dredging and Disposal Project.

Mr Falzon said the latest case could include revelations of what he called a "cover-up".

He claimed information about the environmental effects of the project had been hidden from regulators.

But a port corporation spokeswoman maintained no environmental information had been withheld from state or federal authorities.

Mr Falzon alleged a report about a leaking bund wall was kept under wraps for more than a year, before being released two weeks ago.

"There's hundreds more things that have happened that they haven't told us about," he said.

"In getting this case together, we've learnt they're not forthcoming giving up the documentation, and even when we've been to the authorities, it all fell on deaf ears."

That report found the bund wall, part of the Western Basin dredging project, was leaking and causing turbidity problems in the harbour.

In getting this case together, we've learnt they're not forthcoming giving up the documentation, and even when we've been to the authorities, it all fell on deaf ears

While the port acknowledged dredging operations had contributed to some increased turbidity, it has maintained the project did not contribute to fish disease problems in the harbour dating to 2011.

Mr Falzon said while the case was mainly about compensation for fishermen, he believed the port had a responsibility to release information to regulators and the public.

"How can they do this when they had clear directions to release information?" he said. "The whole harbour development should be stopped until it's sorted out."

The port spokeswoman said all reports related to the project were "made available to all government departments and relevant authorities".

But questions about the release of reports regarding the overall environmental condition of the harbour unrelated to the dredging project went unanswered on Thursday.

The spokeswoman said the port had released "hundreds of reports on its website as required by licence conditions", and GPC had met all its obligations for reporting environmental incidents.

She said GPC also provided "a full list of reports" undertaken for the dredging project to the Federal Government's independent inquiry into the harbour management.

She added "additional reports were published when requested - as stipulated by the project's conditions".

Topics:  dredging, environment, gladstone harbour, gladstone ports corporation




The Tannum beauty competing for this year's Miss Australia

Amanda Vallance is a finalist in this year's Miss Australia.

A former Tannum woman is in the running to be Miss Australia.

URGENT: Why you must update your iPhone iOS settings now

Apple is urging iPhone and iPad users to do an urgent update of their software for security reasons.

Hackers have found a way to break into every iPhone in the world.

Here's 7 really cool jobs up for grabs in Gladstone

Reef off Heron Island - Courtesy of GAPDL

Ever wanted to live and work on an island?

Latest deals and offers

Kanye West gets 'free reign' at VMAs

Kanye West has been let off the leash for the VMAs

Robbie Williams sings at manager's funeral

Robbie Williams and Lamar sang at the funeral of their manager

Twice as much Troy will please country music lovers

CATCH HIM WHILE YOU CAN: Singer Troy Cassar-Daley plans to take some time off to spend with family next year.

TROY Cassar-Daley is releasing a new album and book.

Courtney Stodden gets Reborn Doll

Courtney Stodden is trying to get over her recent miscarriage

Kate McKinnon 'destitute' before SNL

Kate McKinnon says she can't do anything but act

FBI investigating Leslie Jones website hack

The FBI are investigating Leslie Jones' personal website hack

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Gladstone landlords in trouble with Bechtel job losses

"If a big project was announced tomorrow I wouldn't want to see it"