ADF vows Shoalwater environmentally safe

THE AUSTRALIAN De- fence Force (ADF) yester- day gave assurances Shoalwater Bay would not suffer environmental degradation from Exer- cise Talisman Sabre.

Defence senior enviro- mental adviser for south- ern Queensland Leanne Sommer said strict con- trols set by the Environ- mental Protection Agen- cy, and enforced by observer teams, insured the bay's flora and fauna would suffer minimal im- pacts from military acti- vites during the Talis- man Sabre exercise.

After the exercise con- cluded this weekend con- tinued monitoring would compare the Bay's condi- tion to a pre-Talisman check of the area, she said.

So far no incidents or environmental problems had been reported.

The only marks left were sparse 4WD tracks, overturned earth, similar to what might be found in a pub- lic recreational area. Interac- tion with whales, dugongs and turtles was also minimal, Ms Sommer said.

Despite the ADF ruling out the use of depleted uraniam during the exercise, Living- stone Shire Mayor Bill Lud- wig has requested indepen- dent testing.



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