George and Wanda Smith at Port Alma a couple of hundred metres away from where Wanda’s great grandfather is buried in an unmarked grave at Jacks Island near where he died in 1900.
George and Wanda Smith at Port Alma a couple of hundred metres away from where Wanda’s great grandfather is buried in an unmarked grave at Jacks Island near where he died in 1900. Chris Ison

Railway will stop access to grave

WANDA Smith is worried she will not see her great-grandfather's grave again if the Fitzroy Coal Terminal at Port Alma goes ahead.

Mrs Smith, who is a Norman Gardens resident, said a railway line to the proposed terminal along an area of mudflats would prevent access to the grave site because a fence would have to be erected.

Her great-grandfather, John Thomas Harrison, is buried on Jacks Island in an unmarked grave about 500 metres from the Port Alma road.

Her husband George said the only way the family could get to the island was if they walked across a 500-metre stretch of mudflats.

The only other way would be to go by boat from Port Alma up Raglan Creek, Mr Smith said.

Yesterday, Mr and Mrs Smith met a Morning Bulletin reporter on the road to Port Alma and said they were angered by the proposals.

Mrs Smith said she had visited the National Archives to search for information about her great-grandfather.

She said if the fence were erected, she would be cut off from a vital link to her forebears.

"His (Harrison's) grand-daughter and her family do not want anyone to interfere with the grave," Mrs Smith said.

"I don't want anyone to bring coal this way because this is a sacred site for my family."

The State Government announced last week an environmental assessment of a $1.2 billion Fitzroy Terminal Project would progress to the next stage.

State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Jeff Seeney said the announcement cleared the way for the final version of an environmental impact statement on the big terminal project at the mouth of the Fitzroy River.

He said the project could create about 400 jobs and could allow up to 22 million tonnes of coal from Central Queensland mines to be shipped out each year.

The Coordinator-General received 28 submissions on the coal terminal project from the public and advisory agencies.

A media spokesman for the Deputy Premier said no proposal about fences or access across the proposed railway had been put to the State Government and the community could have its say when the environmental impact statement was released later this year.



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