News

Scientists to probe marine deaths

The carcass of the dead male dugong washed up at Seven Mile Creek.
The carcass of the dead male dugong washed up at Seven Mile Creek. Chrissy Harris

WHILE the Department of Environment and Resource Management continues investigations into the death of two dugongs last week, one pertinent question lingers: What is happening in Gladstone harbour?

The increasing number of marine deaths in the Gladstone region has reached a point where it’s difficult to hold fishing nets and boating accidents solely responsible, and the call for accountability grows ever louder from our concerned community.

“Unless we’ve done the autopsy we should not comment on the source of the problem, but we must investigate why these things happen,” troubled citizen Jan Arens said.

“Because we have a government that is so keen to develop this LNG industry at such a breakneck pace we’re losing sight of the fact that we share the harbour with these animals and they’re protected by international law.

If we are going to compromise dugong habitats within listed dugong protection areas, and the government says we are going to enforce that with monitoring, that needs to be in place before we start messing around with their habitat.”

With the Western Basin dredging project currently in its early stages, Gladstone Ports Corporation said it was committed to the preservation of the harbour’s protected species.

“We have been monitoring the harbour for many years, which has included monitoring seagrass and water quality,” a spokesman said.

“Part of the litigation for the dredging project is that there is $17 million allocated for environmental conservation.

“The Western Basin dredging project is still in its early stages and we are currently working on those specific guidelines and considering programs.”

Despite these allocations, the community at large remains dissatisfied with the level of precaution being taken to ensure marine life is properly catered for, and have called for government intervention.

“We as a nation have declared this as a protection area for these animals and subsequently have these dredging activities on, you could question whether it’s absolutely necessary or if there is a better way,” Mr Arens said.

“The culpability lies squarely with those who are putting pressure on their habitat.”

Turtle Island caretaker Clive Last, who discovered a dead dolphin in May, echoed Mr Arens’ call for stricter industry regulations.

“Measures should have been put in place before this was allowed to go ahead, the same holds true for the accommodation situation.”

State Environment Minister Kate Jones contacted The Observer yesterday afternoon to announce the creation of a scientific panel to formally investigate.

Report strandings and deaths to the department on 1300 130 372.

Topics:  gladstone region, lng industry, marine deaths




Owner told he has no insurance as Gladstone home burns

The owner of this New Auckland home had been renovating it for three years this October and yesterday it went up in flames.

Three years of renos go up in smoke

UPDATE: Migaloo ventured past Gladstone today

FILE: Migaloo is expected to cruise past Gladstone this weekend.

All-white humpback whale Migaloo returns

UPDATE: Chemical spill closes road as police investigate death in Gladstone horror crash

A driver had died in a crash on Hanson Rd.

POLICE investigate the death of a 23-yearold in yesterday's crash.

Latest deals and offers

Drowning Pool gig review at Max Watt's

Drowning Pool played Brisbane with A Breach of Silence and She Cries Wolf at the Max Watt's House of Music.

Drowning Pool prove that 'bodies' hit the floor when they play

#SaveMarinaJoyce: How ISIS theory took over youtube channel

One young Youtuber accidentally gave rise to a conspiracy theory

Talking whiskey with Jack Daniel’s master distiller

It all comes down to the distillery

SIXTY MILES AHEAD sign with Eclipse Records, prepare new album 'Insanity'

Sixty Miles Ahead sign with Eclipse. Photo Contributed

Sixty Miles Ahead to release new album on Eclipse

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles