Underfunded Reef managers struggle with huge projects
Lack of funding by successive state and federal governments is leaving "financially constrained" managers of the Great Barrier Reef to struggle with the enormous pressures facing the future of development and environment.
ABC's Four Corners program on Monday night reported that the World Heritage Commission has expressed concerns over the growth of the LNG/CSG industry and the many other projects along the Queensland coast that will affect the Great Barrier Reef, a world heritage-listed area.
Dr Fanny Douvere is co-ordinator of the marine program of UNESCO's World Heritage Centre in Paris.
"When we received the environmental impact assessment from the government of Australia, it appears to have contradictory statements," Dr Douvere said.
"On the one hand it states that the facilities and the measures that are taken for the protection of the environment make it unlikely that there will be any significant negative impact on the outstanding and universal value of the Great Barrier Reef.
"On the other hand it also concludes that there will be a direct and indirect impact on the coastal and marine habitats and species including seagrass, mangroves, dugongs and turtles as well."
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has also had concerns over the concentration of the industry on the Barrier Reef.
"Our concerns filled many pages, but it relates to the things you'd expect any potential spill over into the marine park of dredging activity, impacts on migratory species, humpback dolphin, Indo-Pacific and the snub fin dolphins," scientist and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Chair Dr Russell Reichelt said.
Chairs of all Local Marine Advisory Committees responsible for providing advice to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority on matters of interest to Reef communities, have drafted a letter to Dr Reichelt passing on grave concerns to Federal Minister Burke and the Marine Park Authority Board about the impacts of increased coastal developments on the Great Barrier Reef.
"At our recent annual conference, we agreed that the cumulative impacts of development, for example ports expansions, will have significant detrimental effects on both the ecological and socio-economic life of the region."
"Of particular concern are the projects at Gladstone, Abbot Point, Port Alma, Port of Townsville and Bathurst Bay."
"We implore the Federal Government in its decision making, to think beyond the short-term to consider the long-term protection of the Great Barrier Reef for the benefit of generations to come."
A report about the impact of dredging in Gladstone Harbour by the Gladstone Port Corporation, showed no link between the dredging and "lesions" found in fish in the harbour. It did find that levels of aluminium, copper and chromium exceeded the safety guidelines at several sites in the harbour but these were not, "of significant environmental concern."
Meanwhile Gladstone fishers cannot sell their product.
G20 yachties view
France was honoured to chair the Group of Twenty last week in the movie resort town of Cannes. Established in 1999, G20 brings together major advanced and emerging economies to stabilize the global financial market and bring along a large entourage to chew the fat.
Our Whitsunday Coast Guardian reporter was on the job to file this exclusive story.
"Cannes. G20 summit. Security is really crazy. The boys aren't allowed to work out side the boat, must stay inside. NO marine movement anywhere except by various authorities. No fly zone. Military check points everywhere etc. Army on all the quays. LOADS of guys in all kind of uniform everywhere!! (Girls like that part). Unique to be here."
That Cup is on
Love it or hate it, The America's Cup World Series sails on San Diego Bay November 12-20. This is extreme experience; cutting-edge wing-sailed AC45 catamarans hitting speeds over 30-knots in short, sharp, intense races. No tame 12-metre yachts here.
Testing the abilities of the best sailing teams in the world on tight courses squeezed to ensure close action with a mix of fleet and match racing. Spectators will see the racing on one of the best natural harbours in North America, a natural amphitheatre for sailboat racing.
Remembrance Day, Poppy Day, Armistice Day or Veterans Day - 11 hour 11/11/11
Mariners are advised that the lighted Starboard Lateral Mark No.1 buoy Fl.G.3s temporarily established to mark the destroyed Starboard Lateral Mark No.1 beacon Fl.G.3s in the entrance to the Proserpine River, has been re-established. Navigate with caution.
Fair winds to Ye!