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Greenpeace targets Gladstone over 'crazy' dredging plan

PROTEST: Greenpeace ship MY Esperanza.
PROTEST: Greenpeace ship MY Esperanza. Jiri Rezac

GREENPEACE environmental activists have Gladstone in their crosshairs again, calling plans for fresh development "crazy" ahead of a trip here this week.

The visit is part of a "fact-finding tour" on controversial ship the MY Esperanza.

The trip began in Brisbane on Sunday.

But it comes as environmental interest in Gladstone is waning - last week just two people attended a State Government public consultation held in the city on the Great Barrier Reef.

Greenpeace Queensland campaigner Louise Matthiesson hit out at a proposal to duplicate the existing shipping channel to Curtis Island, claiming too much damage had already been done to Gladstone Harbour.

"Greenpeace thinks it is crazy that the government is considering further expansion considering the damage that has already been caused by the dredging," she said.

"(Dredging) is unacceptable in this day and age from what is known about the damage to the reef that is caused by water pollution from stirring up millions of tonnes of mud."

Last month, Gladstone Ports Corporation chief Craig Doyle said channel duplication works, which involves dredging 12 million cubic metres of spoil, will be inevitable for the harbour, but won't begin for several years.

The comments followed a statement from the Federal Government that any future applications for major dredge works would not be allowed to dump spoil at sea.

Last week, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the State Government conducted the last of the public consultations on their Great Barrier Reef and Coastal Zone strategic assessment and program reports.

The documents, which will help form a long-term sustainability plan for the Great Barrier Reef, are open for public submissions until January 31.

The State Government and GBRMPA strategic assessment and program reports can be viewed at http://www.reefhaveyoursay.com.au

Topics:  dredging, enviornment, gladstone, great barrier reef, greenpeace



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