Map shows where the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage boundary is (low watermark) along the coast, compared to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Boundary (red line).
Map shows where the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage boundary is (low watermark) along the coast, compared to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Boundary (red line).

Dredging not bad: developer

VISIONARY Zilzie developer Chris Dadson says he has seen the long-term benefits from dredging.

Mr Dadson, who created the township of Zilzie Bay by transforming the area from mudflats into a residential area, knows only too well about working under strict guidelines, including World Heritage declared areas.

Mr Dadson this week spoke of the benefits of dredging amid growing concerns about the environmental impacts of the practice and the potential impact on the Keppel coast from the dredging in the Gladstone Harbour and moves by the Gladstone Ports Corporation to have protection boundaries realigned.

The corporation has been condemned for seeking a realignment of the world heritage boundary (low watermark line on map in blue) to match that of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Boundary (red line on map). This would see the removal of the Gladstone Harbour from the world heritage zone, and it's feared other coastal areas in CQ, from world heritage listing protection. The corporation has approval to dredge 26 million cubic metres from Gladstone Harbour for the LNG expansion."Having world heritage status over a massive commercial harbour like the Port of Gladstone is akin to having a nature conservation zone declaration over the Queen Street Mall," GPC chief executive officer Leo Zussino said.

Mr Dadson said dredging was not a terrible thing.

He said the long-term benefits, including work for our younger generations, far out-weighed the short-term issues."We've actually done dredging of the lakes (here in Zilzie) and now there is an abundance of wildlife, new wildlife, and different birds that have been attracted to the area," he said.

Mr Dadson said the lakes were dug out in order to deal with soil issues as the residential properties were built on salt flats, mudflats and there were issues with soil containing acid sulphate.

Acting Premier Andrew Fraser, speaking in Rockhampton this week, said the boundary idea was not a proposal that the government was contemplating or was about to contemplate.

"The government's keen to see the people from UNESCO actually visit and to see not only Gladstone harbour and the broader region, but indeed the breadth of the world heritage area and the breadth of the coast line and the breadth of what's protected under the efforts of successive governments and Commonwealth governments to ensure development is appropriate," he said.

"Gladstone has been an industrial city for a long time. "There needs to be a level of perspective on this, but I think what the answer to this issue is actually for the people from UNESCO to be here and see with their own eyes and to get a sense of geographic perspective on the matter."

"When the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, which includes Gladstone harbour, was gazetted in 1981, the Ports Corporation was undertaking a massive 22 million cubic metre dredging program," he said.

"No one seemed concerned then or since," he said.



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