LNG environmental anger
Gladstone will truly become nothing more than a large industrial town where people will not want to raise families, according to the Gladstone Environmental Protection Group (GEPD).
GEPD Coordinator Roanne Karlsen said this is a sad day for environmentalists and a great day for those wringing their hands in the name of the dollar.
“With a life span of 40 years what will be left for future generations when they move on to the next projects,” Ms Karlsen said.
“The landmark decision that was made by our Government will change Gladstone/Curtis Island and surrounds as we know it over the next couple of years including the native fauna and flora that is already choked by the local industry that is here.”
The federal environmental approval of two LNG plants on Curtis Island comes with trepidation for many Gladstone locals.
Curtis Island supports a diverse range of flora and fauna with a number of significant birds of prey, shorebirds, seabirds, waterbirds, and land-based birds that will be effected including marine mammals and reptiles that inhabit the waters surrounding the LNG sites and some use the adjacent beaches for nesting.
Local environmental campaigner Paul Tooker said even with “conditions”, approval will mean destruction of harbour environment with significant reduction in local fisheries.
“There will be progressive loss of amenity in Gladstone Harbour and on harbour islands,” Mr Tooker said.
The Queensland Coordinator General’s report identified that by and large, project proponents in their EIS reports have had difficulty describing and analysing cumulative impacts.
“Some merely described the sum of impacts of the project itself as cumulative,” the report states.
“Others considered other projects in comparison to their own, and judged which has the greater impact. In almost all cases the cumulative impact is described qualitatively, and is not quantified”
Surat Basin environmental campaigner Friends of the Earth Drew Hutton said the announcement is very disappointing because it ensures areas like the rich Condamine flood plain will suffer massive underground aquifer draw-downs and severe impacts on agriculture.
“Once again, this ensures that, sooner or later, there will be lasting and possibly permanent damage to underground water systems,” Mr Hutton said.