Sunfish Queensland Inc.

 

5/9/2000

Project Manager
Port of Brisbane Fisherman Islands Expansion
Projects & Infrastructure Division
Department of State Development
PO Box 168
BRISBANE ALBERT ST Q 4002

Dear Sir,

FISHERMAN ISLANDS PROPOSED PORT EXPANSION - DRAFT IAS

SUNFISH Queensland would like to object to any further reclamation works in this area.

The current proposal has failed to take into account the already massive destruction & change to the environment that has already taken place in this location. To say that there will be only minimal impacts is at the very least misleading.

I personally have spent 50 years boating & fishing in this area & am well aware of the original topography & current flows that existed prior to the port development commencing.

In our opinion the whole concept from day one constitutes one of the major environmental disasters in Moreton Bay.

Hydrodynamic Processes.

The current & final design has & will direct the tidal flow towards Moreton Island in direct contrast to original flows which also went south around the corner of Bishop Island as well as to the south of Mud Island.

The area at the mouth of the Brisbane River at Luggage Point is one of the most important assembly areas for bream which move to their spawning sites from Caloundra to Jumpinpin. This has been verified by tagging programs within QFS. Any redirection of the currents & the migration paths to the south will affect catches in the southern part of the Bay & as far away as Jumpinpin.

Tidal Flushing

I find it hard to believe that there will be little difference when existing sedimentation is already making the area between the shipping channel & St Helena Island non navigable at low tide. It was possible to navigate a 25 ft boat across this bank at low tide in the 1970ís. The further out the wall goes the more direction the current will have towards Moreton Island & more siltation will occur.

Water Quality

Considering that the construction will take 25 years I would assume that the turbidity

would be present for this period. To our knowledge there has never been a successful turbidity control mechanism developed.

Sedimentation impacts

Another case of more minor impacts & when added to the area to be reclaimed will kill the total bottom area as well as the "localised" area.

No discussion has been offered on the liquid run off from the pumped dredge spoil Ė where will that go.

Marine ecology

The statements made here are typical when developers are trying to justify destruction of seagrass by minimising the area & making statements that it only has a local effect. The wording here to be honest with the public should have read 3% of the remaining port area.

Again, one of the reasons for "patchy seagrass in the proposed area is that it has already been affected by previous works . If the whole area was allowed to consolidate (it takes approx 3 years) then perhaps the grass would be a healthy stand. However once the area is covered then it is lost forever.

Economic impacts

The whole area has already been lost as a prime fishing spot with access removed to large areas of foreshore.

Whiting ,bream & flathead breeding areas were destroyed with the initial development around Bishop Island & any more reclamation will just add to this. Certainly the impacts created by the extension will only remove another 90 hectares but will now go beyond the shallow breeding areas & remove this potential entirely. This is now another 90 hectares lost forever to the 300,000 anglers that use Moreton Bay.

Social impacts

There is no doubt that there will be employment generators in shipping & tourism but none of these are of any benefit to the people who will lose fishing areas or environment essential to the wellbeing of the Bay.

If the positive impacts are to be so substantial then there should be a financial levy placed on these beneficiaries to be used to rejuvenate other degraded environments around the Bay.

The State Government Inquiry into Recreational Fishing specifically addressed this problem & recommended as follows :-

" That in cases where habitat loss is absolutely necessary, developers, including Port Authorities, be required to contribute to the enhancement of fisheries, including funding for specific habitat restoration & fisheries research".

To date we have not seen any research done or financed , apart from work for the Portís benefit, that would compensate for the loss since the Port area started. There have been no facilities provided by the Port Authority to benefit the angling public.

Community opinion

You cannot claim minor/minimal impact when another 90 hectares of marine environment is being removed forever.

We only have one Moreton Bay which is slowly being polluted, developed & reclaimed in small "chunks" with each development claiming only minimal impact.

Port activity is a legitimate use of coastal LAND - what you are talking about is the reclamation of water areas for financial gain & their alienation from use by the general public.

It raises the interesting questions of :-

Sunfish Queensland Inc. realises that we have absolutely no chance of stopping this expansion as developing industry & jobs takes priority over looking after the environment.

We would be pleased to meet with you to discuss our concerns but in reality it will achieve very little unless you actually intend to take any notice & do something.

Yours Faithfully

signed

David Bateman AM, Executive Officer, Sunfish Queensland Inc.


Our Group appreciates David Bateman's permission to display Sunfish Queensland Inc submission on the proposed expansion of Fisherman Island further into Moreton Bay.


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