I meant ³waste² in the sense of ³unwanted² although I could have used
³sludge¹ as many reports have. But my understanding is that much of this
³dredge spoil² is actually sand, and therefore the latter term may be
Incidentally one definition of the noun ³spoil² is ³waste material brought
up during the course of an excavation or a dredging or mining operation²
Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow
PO Box 71, Darwin River,
043 8650 835
PhD candidate, SCU
Vice-chair, Wildlife Tourism Australia
On 3/2/14 12:10 PM, "Mark Stanley" <> wrote:
> Like a lot of environmental issues, I am left wondering where the truth lies
> here. Is this an appalling decision that will wreck the reef? Or does the
> counter argument hold, that a typical cyclone raises and redistributes x-times
> this amount of sediment so the reef will deal with it? One would hope (am I
> naive?) that the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority understand the issue and
> would not approve if the dredging on its own was likely to cause irreversible
> damage to the reef. They say:
> "After rigorous assessment, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has
> approved an application by North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation to dispose
> of dredge spoil at a deep water location offshore of Abbot Point, subject to
> strict environmental conditions.
> Authority Chairman, Dr Russell Reichelt, said he recognised the amount of
> debate and community concern that the project had generated and shared with
> everyone a strong desire to ensure the Reef remains a great natural wonder
> into the future.
> ³This approval is in line with the agency¹s view that port development along
> the Great Barrier Reef coastline should be limited to existing ports,² Dr
> Reichelt said.
> ³As a deepwater port that has been in operation for nearly 30 years, Abbot
> Point is better placed than other ports along the Great Barrier Reef coastline
> to undertake expansion as the capital and maintenance dredging required will
> be significantly less than what would be required in other areas.
> ³It¹s important to note the seafloor of the approved disposal area consists of
> sand, silt and clay and does not contain coral reefs or seagrass beds.²
> General Manager for Biodiversity, Conservation and Sustainable Use, Bruce
> Elliot said the stringent environmental conditions imposed on the dredge
> disposal would help protect biodiversity, heritage and social values of the
> multi-use Marine Park and ensure potential impacts of this activity are
> avoided, mitigated or offset."
> I suspect the bigger issue is the reason behind the dredging which is to
> export massively more coal with significant local environmental impacts (there
> goes Bimblebox?) and huge global effects through increased CO2 output.
> Denise uses the word "waste" - whereas a more accurate term is dredge spoil.
> Interestingly in the US, dredge spoil islands from the intra coastal ship
> canal are an important site for breeding colonial waterbirds. One person's
> rubbish is another person's treasure. Having visited one or two of these in
> the breeding season, with their collection of terms, skimmers, herons, egrets,
> avocets etc they are not like a pile mine tailings or rubbish dump. As most of
> the coast there, like here, has a lot of human pressure, these spoil islands
> are now vital for local bird populations. They are not proposing to make
> islands out of this stuff in Queensland - but perhaps they could? They will
> need to keep the channel clear so regular replenishment is possible. I'm sure
> some terns, noddies and pelicans could appreciate it.
> Mark Stanley
> Message: 2
> Date: Sun, 02 Feb 2014 06:50:40 +0930
> From: Denise Goodfellow <>
> To: "" <>
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Great Barrier Reef dumping
> Message-ID: <>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
> Good morning all from a very wet Darwin River
> Are any members raising concerns about the decision to dump waste in the
> Great Barrier Reef Marine Park?
> Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow
> PO Box 71, Darwin River,
> NT 0841
> 043 8650 835
> PhD candidate, SCU
> Vice-chair, Wildlife Tourism Australia
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