birding-aus Re: Some Answers

To: Thyer <>
Subject: birding-aus Re: Some Answers
From: Alexandra Appleman <>
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1999 09:28:34 +1000
At 23:31 23/08/99 +1000, you wrote:
>Hi Alex,
>       Thank you for your interest in this matter. 
>You asked
>1.  Mangroves are fisheries habitat, which comes under Dept of Primary
>Industries; what does DPI have to say about their removal?
>I only got involved in this on Sunday so when I can find out DPI's stand
>on this issue I'll let you know.

Sunfish might also have an opinion on this issue.
>2.  As well as removing mangroves, will excavations & earthworks take
>place?  In which case will acid sulphate soils be released?
>Earthworks will take the form of fill to raise the road above the
>mangrove level. From the 'Landscape Concept Plan" it seems that the fill
>would be about 5 to 6 meters deep ( going by the scale provided) to get
>the surface to a suitable level for the road. The road and embankments
>would be about 50 meters wide and the route would be around 1.5 km long.
>EPA estimate that 12.3 ha of mangrove habitat would be destroyed. I can
>only assume at this stage that disturbance to the mangroves by heavy
>machinery would indeed cause some release of acid sulphates.
>3.  Has Mackay City Council issued any statement to say the removal of
>mangroves in Barnes Creek system won't have any effect on preventing /
>retarding floodwaters from entering the city?
>I rather think, from what I've been told, that this proposed road
>embankment may serve as part of the levee bank, and that this is one
>reason for the Pioneer River Trust supporting the scheme. Although I
>must say that if the existing road (Riverside Drive) was raised 5 to 6
>meters it would do the same with virtually no adverse impact on the

I've had a look at the Mackay map to see what the surrounding area consists
of and agree that raising Riverside Drive would be the logical solution.  I
did a unit in environmental monitoring and mapping as part of my ongoing
Masters degree - studying the sediment and nutrient uptake levels of
chemicals used by the sugar cane industry by native vegetation (Cairns'
Trinity Inlet was the study area).

As well as stabilising the area, taking the brunt of storm surges and
providing bird and fish habitat, mangroves are efficient filters of a
number of floating and dissolved nasties in stormwater runoff, including
heavy metals.

If the average person in Mackay finds birders a little odd and can't
understand our passion for Little Kingfishers and other tweeties, you might
like to point to the number of homes and schools in the area which will be
affected by the hoardes of sandflies, mosquitoes and midges turfed out of
their homes by 6 metres of land fill, tarmac and readymix.  

Good luck


>Kindest Regards,
>               Les Thyer

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