Terry Smith on board his yacht at Rosslyn Bay.
Terry Smith on board his yacht at Rosslyn Bay. Allan Reinikka

Call of distress for Keppel Bay

WHEN yachtsman Terry Smith sailed into Keppel Bay for the first time in October last year, he was taken aback by the sheer beauty of the pristine environment.

So much so, he wrote the following letter to The Morning Bulletin to voice his concerns about the environmental effects that proposed developments could have on the area.

 

MY NAME is Terry Smith, and I am a citizen of Planet Earth.

Without any dissimulation, I mean that I am concerned for what is being done to our home in the interests of employment, profitability, and capitalism, and in particular with what is being proposed for the Lower Keppel Bay and Fitzroy delta.

My wife and I have lived here now since October, 2011, having sailed in on our yacht.

The reason we stayed is because of the pristine nature of this local area, its diversity of sea and bird life, and the clarity and purity of its marine environment.

The climate here is benign, and the air clean. All this is about to change.

When the dredging begins in the Fitzroy delta area as planned, the resultant disturbance of the sediments below the sea floor will release toxins into the ecosystem that have lain dormant for many decades.

Toxins that have come down the Fitzroy and other rivers during those years that we carelessly discharged as untreated wastes into rivers and offshore pipelines.

Toxins from the run-off of farm chemicals and forestry and mining wastes. Once released, the turbidity of the whole bay will be seriously impacted, and many, many sea animals will die.

It's happening in Gladstone despite official denials.

Remember Gladstone? Where politicians tell us the fish are fine to eat despite the "boils" and the strange descaling and floating upside down.

But the evidence screams louder - our turtles, our dugongs, our sharks and our fish - all are dying.

I witnessed the Government's self-congratulation over the cessation of sand-mining on North Stradbroke island. An industry with little environmental impact, and significant socio-economic effect.

And then I watched as it approved CSG mining, and the destruction of the water table, and as it encouraged greater resource mining and associated destruction of the environment.

I am old enough to be a cynic. I have seen, and am seeing, the constant "smile and nod" of politicians more concerned with a meal ticket than they are with the needs and aspirations of their constituents, or with the protection of truth, honesty and plain commonsense.

I am aware that you will probably patronise me over this letter, but I challenge you to do the right thing! I challenge you, to put your own self-interest behind you, and look to the good of the planet, our descendants, and our future.

You must do all in your power to stop this madness before it is too late.

Today, we need jobs, money, and all the things that these projects can provide.

But what will you tell your grandchildren when the coal is all gone, when the groundwater is destroyed by CSG projects, when they cannot breathe because of the toxic dust clouds, and the sea is unsafe to swim in because it is dead? No jobs, no money, and no environment! What then?

The climate here is benign, and the air clean. All this is about to change



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