MORE Labor Party Incompetence and Corruption: 500 sq km Poison Sea and Fish off Gladstone, QLD!
by Brian Williams via ricin - Courier Mail Friday, Sep 16 2011, 12:20am
national / environment / other press
Corporate friendly Labor allows Fracking and Industrial polluting to DEVASTATE Oz
A MAJOR public heath scare has emerged in Gladstone, with the State Government closing up to 500 sq km of the central Queensland coast to fishing and warning that seafood caught in the Gladstone Port area should not be handled or eaten!
Barramundi, salmon and whiting have all been caught infected with sores and cloudy eyes and some possibly blind.
It follows the death of more than 100 turtles since the start of the year near Gladstone and fears that fish are being impacted by pollution and the release of acid sulphate from major dredging and coastal works in and around the highly industrialised city.
Gladstone Fish Market owner Ted Whittingham said it was a disgrace the Government had been so slow to act, when fishermen had been warning about problems since last October.
Problems had increased over the past four weeks, with about 30 per cent of the catch infected with sores, lesions and rashes.
"We've been asking for action for six months,'' Mr Whittingham said.
"In the end, the fishing fraternity gave the Government 24 hours to say whether these fish were fit for consumption and that's how we got to this situation.
"We've even had crabbers getting sores on their arms from pulling pots out of the water.''
Economic Development Department director-general Ian Fletcher said yesterday Gladstone Harbour would be closed to fishing to protect public health while the situation was assessed.
"Biosecurity Queensland is testing fish samples to try to identify the condition,'' he said.
"In the meantime, we are taking a precautionary approach to ensure handling of affected fish is minimised.''
Safe Food Production Queensland principal policy officer David Wilkinson said the closure would ensure fish potentially unsuitable for consumption would not enter the food chain.
"There is no evidence to suggest that seafood harvested from other areas is affected," Mr Wilkinson said.
Queensland Health acting chief health officer Michael Cleary said seafood that showed signs of damage, deterioration or disease should not be handled or eaten.
"Anyone who has concerns about their health which might be attributed to the handling or consumption of seafood from the local area should seek medical advice,'' Dr Cleary said.
The closure is from Deception Creek at the top end of The Narrows south to Rodds Peninsula and to the outer edge of Facing Island.
Since May the Gladstone Ports Corporation has dredged 394,000 cu m from the area.
Mr Fletcher said the department was consulting with the Queensland Seafood Industry Association and Sunfish Queensland.
Greens spokeswoman Libby Connors said she saw black sludge being dredged out of the harbour in July.
"The sea bed mud was so black it looked like coal dust had settled in that part of the harbour and was being stirred up by the process,'' she said.
"No wonder locals are arguing that pollutants have been activated by the process.''
Dr Connors said multiple factors could be involved, from the increase in fresh water after the January floods through to mangrove and vegetation clearing on Curtis Island as well as increased dredging for port expansions.
Dr Connors said Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke had to reject the 4th liquified natural gas plant for the region.
An Environment Department spokesman said it was premature to speculate on reasons for the problem.
Fish sometimes contract red spot disease that produces sores on the body. It's usually found in fresh water and similar infections occur in other species.
The department's chief scientist Col Limpus last week put the high numbers of turtle deaths down to the loss of seagrass meadows after two big wet seasons. This also has occurred in Moreton Bay and particularly in the Cairns to Townsville region.
© 2011 News Queensland.
[Know your political parties by their incompetence and who they favour -- neither State nor Federal Labor serves the interests of the people that fact is demonstrated daily. The situation in Gladstone is an OUTRAGE by any 'THIRD WORLD' standard.
Necessity requires the PEOPLE to take vigorous CLASS action against those responsible for this outrageous example of CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE and corruption. Full reparations must also be pursued; the incompetent, LACKEY LABOR government is clearly in bed with the polluting Corporatists -- poisonous and antiquated 'FRACKING' methods continue UNABATED in QLD even though they have received nationwide media attention!
Industries responsible for the monumental poisoning of the Gladstone environment and the poisoning of our PRECIOUS water table inland, with antiquated 'fracking' technologies, MUST be forced to bear ALL the costs of restoring Queensland waters to a safe and healthy condition. All government officials and regulators found to be derelict in their duty/responsibilities MUST be PROSECUTED to the FULL EXTENT of the LAW.
Environmental CRIMES of this MAGNITUDE are totally UNACCEPTABLE. This is not a matter of 'leave it to us, we'll fix it' (more corruption) it is a matter of LAW, pure and simple -- prosecutions, penalties and reparations -- only then will rapacious, polluting, profit-only driven, Corporatists LEARN.]
Link and disseminate this shocking story far and wide and move on the criminal Corporatists and their puppets in government, federally and at state levels. Together, we can RESTORE representative DEMOCRACY to our nation.