To: "Birding Aus" <>
From: "J & M Cooper" <>
Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2000 03:52:53 +1000

Dear Birding Aus-ers,

You may remember that Barnes Creek, Bassett Basin,which is a declared Fish Habitat, and home to over 138 bird species was earmarked for destruction for the East/West Connector Road.

Perseverance pays off.  Due to continuing pressure from Mackay Conservation Group, Mackay Bird Observers Club and Sunfish (plus all your protest emails to the relevant Ministers) the mangrove wetland due to be destroyed for the East/West Connector Road has been saved.

At the preliminary hearing of the Fisheries Tribunal in April the Chairman handed down his decision in our favour, declaring that we had Standing, therefore we could then proceed to a full hearing. 

Dr. Norm Duke's findings on the dieback issue in Bassett Basin as well as public opinion caused the State Government to pull out of their decision to proceed with the road.  Press release below:


From the Office of The Minister for Transport and Minister for Main Roads

Member for Cook

14th April 2000

East West Connector

Mackay’s East West Connector Road will not proceed, Transport and Main Roads Minister Steve Bredhauer said today.

Mr Bredhauer said the decision followed the Fisheries Tribunal decision on the 7th of April that the appeal against the granting of a Permit by the Department of Primary Industries would proceed.

The Project potentially faced months of uncertainty and protracted legal proceedings and the Government has therefore decided not to proceed with the Project Mr Bredhauer said.

Mr Bredhauer said another factor was the failure of the Mackay City Council to publicly commit to the project.

He said the East West connector was a vital link in Council’s strategic plan. "I am disappointed with the lack of support from the Mackay City Council for this vital link in Mackay’s transport network" Mr Bredhauer said.

"We have listened to the Community but this is a significant lost opportunity for Mackay residents" he said.

"The East West Connector was an important project that would have addressed a number of traffic problems, including the safety of school children and Pedestrians, relieving congestion and relieving trucks from Malcolmson street and residential areas" he said.

He said "the East West Connector was also a key flood mitigation measure for the north Mackay Community."

"The people of Mackay are still going to have to deal with the traffic and safety impacts of continued population growth and urban development in North Mackay" he said.

Mr Bredhauer said "Queensland Transport and the Department of Main Roads would continue to work with the Mackay Community to address transport issues in the Region".

He said the Beattie Government would honour commitments to spend $100,000 towards the environmental management and rehabilitation for the mangrove area around Sandfly creek and $50,000 for a mangrove monitoring program conducted by the central Queensland University.

The addition of the 2.7 hectare property at Vines Creek to the Bassett Basin Fish Habitat has also been assured by the Government.

The Main roads will work with the contractors to find mutually acceptable agreement to discontinue the current work contract.


Amazing, they just cannot say they were wrong. The piece about flood mitigation is incorrect as the money is available for the River Trust to complete this flood levee which will now be located directly behind the North Mackay business centre leaving the mangroves intact.

We will be meeting Mr. Rod Welford on Monday 17th April to present him with the facts on the die-back in Bassett Basin so we can obtain Government action on this issue, and thus preserve this important bird habitat.  At the moment there is a deafening silence from all authorities on this subject.

Thanks again to all the people who supported us to save this habitat.

Maureen Cooper

Conservation Officer MacBoca. 

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