Thursday, May 25, 2017

Greens candidate challenges sitting member on environmental questions

Posted by Jim on August 1, 2010

The Federal member, Mr Truss, has so far failed to voice his considered opinion on a range of issues that would impact on the economy, the social fabric, the environmental health, and the lifestyle of the population in the Wide Bay electorate.

Central to all of these concerns is the health of the Mary River. The Mary River is an iconic artery that runs through the electorate and there are many issues that could have detrimental impacts on river flows, the estuarine areas, and the Great Sandy Straits. The flow of the Mary River is integral to the health of the seagrass fields in the heritage protected Great Sandy wetlands.

Just as the region is recovering from the Traveston Dam debacle, the Mary River faces threats from three massive open-cut coal mines alongside the Susan River tributary near Aldershot, at Tiaro, and Munna Creek. In addition, the State Government proposes to divert water from the Mary River.

Munna Creek in Wide Bay electorate flows into Mary River Photo: Jim McDonald

Would Mr Truss support the Federal Government rejecting State Government plans to transfer water from the Mary River to Brisbane by applying the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act in a Coalition Government?

When is he going to stand up for the residents of Aldershot, and come out in opposition to plans to discharge coalmine waste-water into the river system, which might affect fisheries and the Great Sandy Strait?

Mr Truss has had a lot to say about bridges in the lead-up to the election, but we are yet to hear his views on the risks to the river of proposed bridges over the Mary River at Traveston Crossing, which is planned to follow the approximate line of the former proposed dam wall, and Coles Creek?

It is incontestable that waste water from coalmines, the groundwater effects on the Susan River of the Colton Coal Mine, and State Government water diversion will harm the environmental flows in the Mary River, affecting the marine environment in Hervey Bay and the Sandy Straits, and the tourist and fishing industries. The health of the Mary River is not something a responsible Member could remain silent about.

Letter published Gympie Times, Saturday, 31 July 2010

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