Conservation council concerned for Round Hill Creek dredging
GLADSTONE Conservation Council has spoken out against plans to carry out dredging at Round Hill Creek.
On Tuesday Gladstone Regional Council voted in favour of a dredging project to deepen Round Hill Creek and provide better access for vessels, with details yet to be decided.
Gladstone Conservation Council coordinator Anna Hitchcock said the project, estimated to cost $450,000 per dredge, was not economically viable long-term and would be bad for the environment.
"Dredging sand still has a big impact on ecosystems,” Ms Hitchcock said.
"It can cover coral reefs, it can have impact on sea grass, crab habitats ... It's quite a varied ecosystem, there's definitely dolphins, dugongs, turtles, sea grass, crabs and prawns.
"It's a relatively unspoiled ecosystem and people go there because of that. As soon as you start dredging you're interfering with the ecosystem and there's plenty of unforeseen consequences.”
Ms Hitchcock believed dredging was a "short term solution” as dredged sand would be replaced due to factors such as the tide, storms and rain.
"You're going to just have to keep dredging and keep spending the money,” she said.
Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett said council was aware of a range of approvals required for the project which had a a $1m-$2m allowance for "environmental studies, approvals and permits including environmental offsets”.
"As part of Stakeholder Consultation ... it has been acknowledged there are others who 'would prefer no disturbance to the natural environment (no specific works) citing the importance to not disturb key habitats',” Cr Burnett said.
The Round Hill Creek Channel Option report said works on the project would be "subject to detailed design as well as environmental impact assessment”.