OUR PUBLIC SHAME: A billboard in the Brisbane CBD by the Fight for the Reef campaign is angering local tourist operators.
OUR PUBLIC SHAME: A billboard in the Brisbane CBD by the Fight for the Reef campaign is angering local tourist operators. Contributed

Green group dredges up old harbour photos for billboard

BRISBANE'S King George Square has Gladstone's name plastered all over it - but not in a light tourism operators are happy about.

Gladstone's name is being publicly shamed on billboards, in television advertisements and editorials as an environmental bid to deter votes for the LNP in Saturday's state election.

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Former local woman Misty Drystalle saw the billboard on her way to work on Monday.

"I know the harbour looks nothing like that anymore," she said.

"I thought it was a bit rough to continue to paint Gladstone as a horrible place to visit.

"King George Square is one of the busiest places in Brisbane too."

The advertising, on behalf of the Fight for the Reef campaign, is designed to draw parallels between Gladstone and Abbot Point.

While the move aims to detract votes from the LNP, it was the ALP who approved the LNG plants and dredging operations.

Felicity Wishart, of the Australian Marine Conservation Society, said she believed the Great Barrier Reef was a primary concern for voters.

She said the campaign against Gladstone would remain until votes were counted.

"There's a real fear that no lessons have been learned and that the government will repeat the same toxic recipe with fast-tracked approval of a three million tonne dredging and dumping project at Abbot Point," she said.

Glenn Churchill from Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Ltd said a 2015 photograph would have better indicated the long-term health of the harbour.

"Our community needs to question the integrity of the images used as the comparison shows the harbour firstly in 2005, and secondly in 2011 in the wake of Cyclone Yasi," he said.

"The Gladstone region, and in particular the Gladstone harbour, has seen a record number of seafood being caught in 2014, with a majority of this high-quality seafood being sold to other major premier destinations around Australia and internationally.

"As GAPDL continues to promote the Gladstone region and Southern Great Barrier Reef as a premier destination 'where great begins', our harbour is a great asset."



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