Whitsundays ready to go

The expansion of the Abbott Point bulk loading facility will mean more jobs and increased prosperity for the Bowen/Whitsunday region and can be achieved without any significant impact on the Great Barrier Reef, according to North Queensland based Senator Ian Macdonald who has just attended a two day Major Projects conference in Bowen.

The Great Barrier Reef is vital to every aspect of life in North Queensland, he said.

Not just to the tourism and fishing industries, but to every business, and its in everybodys interests to make absolutely sure that it isnt damaged or reduced.

At the same time, we also treasure our way of life and our standard of living in Australia and in the North particularly, and for that we need to do business with the rest of the world.

Ships passing through the Reef are not an issue, whatever their cargo is, he said.

Having been on site I have seen that there is no problem from coal dust or spillages.

And the dredging needed to accommodate the expanded facility should be able to be managed in a way that does not impact on water quality in the GBR lagoon

The concerns of fishermen and Whitsunday Tourism operators need to be addressed and I am sure that concerns can be resolved.

From what we have heard over the last two days the problem of sedimentation has been closely examined and the effect of dredging at Abbott Point on the Reef would be minimal compared to the sedimentation which occurs every wet season from the coastal rivers and creeks.

The Whitsunday region has an exciting future community and business leaders are not waiting for government handouts or White Papers, they are ready and raring to go.


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