The proposed Western Basin Dredging and Disposal Project (WBDD) project at the port of Gladstone in Australia “will cause environmental damage and destroy marine ecosystems,” according to the Gladstone Port Corporation’s WBDD report.
The federal environment minister, Peter Garrett, the Greens Party and local campaigners, have all raised concerns as to the environmental impact of the dredging project.
Ten days ago the Queensland Coordinator-General, Colin Jensen, gave conditional approval of the WBDD with Mr Garrett now in the process of making final approvals.
“If this project goes ahead, it will pave the way for the creation of thousands of jobs in the LNG industry, both construction and ongoing operational positions,” Mr Jensen said.
The project involves reclamation of approximately 235 hectares of seabed where marine habitats will be directly impacted.
The primary direct impact will involve removal of all seabed environments under the direct footprint of the Reclamation Area and channel dredging areas, which totals approximately 902 hecatres with up to 55 million cubic metres of dredge spoil dumped on seagrass beds.
To compensate environment damage, five thousand hectares of coastal land will be protected as part of the state approval.
In April, local environmental campaigner Paul Tooker said the “long term benefits for Gladstone remain minimal.”
Source: dredgingtoday, August 02, 2010;