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BREC Comment of the POB Draft Impact Study


October 9th 2000

BREC Comment of the POB Draft Impact Study

Fisherman's Island Extension


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The Draft Impact Study Terms of Reference

The TOR for this impact study is such that it fails to provide sufficient information to decision makers about the actual impacts of this development. If specifically excluded the potential impacts of any required transport infrastructure or subsequent uses or constraints to the use of the site. This is like some one saying they should only be taking into account the impacts of constructing a highway while ignoring the fact that it will be used by cars. Subsequent developments at the port will have no public notification or public scrutiny so this is the only opportunity to consider overall impacts of the development.

Seagrass loss of 90 ha

This loss of seagrass represents further reduction in these important ecosystems.

Dredging impacts of extra 300,000 cu m/yr

The extraction and removal of this material will have impacts on bay ecology and hydrology. The fact that POB will use "navigational" dredging to fill the extension means that they will in fact be increasing their call for these marine resources. This will have effects on local turbidity, benthic communities and hydrology.

Truck impacts one truck every three minutes

Carrying millions of tonnes of rock from Redlands and other areas to port trucks will pass through Koala Coast and Residential areas. This will have detrimental affect on the fauna movement areas in the Koala Coast. It will inevitably destroy the road surfaces used and create substantial noise and safety risks for residents along the unspecified haul routes.

The port extension will push pollutants further into Eastern bay

This effect is portrayed by the POB as beneficial because it directs pollutants away from waters offshore of Wynnum Manly. The port extension will be the equivalent of extending the outfall pipe from Luggage Point. This impact of the extension of outfall needs its own EIS done. The SEQWQS study has indicated that while the Western part of the Bay is of poorer water quality due to sewage impacts the Eastern Part of the bay is still relatively OK. To introduce more pollutants in the central and eastern bay is ill advised.

Small annual impacts on Material Transport rates will cumulatively impact on deposition and erosion rates in the bay and hence hydrology.

While individually selected snapshots of the potential impacts using the coarse grained Moreton Bay model may show negligible or minor changes in material transport rates. The actual impacts need to be assessed on two fronts, firstly we need to bear in mind the uncertainty embedded in the model. Secondly we need to consider the port structure will be there for at least 50 years or more. We need to assess the cumulative impacts over this time period to see what the total impact will be.

Some stakeholders will bear a disproportionate burden

of this development without experiencing any direct benefits or compensation eg traditional owners, environment, SE residents. The associated development due to the port expansion and the gateway ports will be born by the communities like Pinkenba and Hemmant. The social and environmental impacts of this have not been addressed. The POB study reveals that the number of trains will increase 800%, the number of vehicles including truck will increase 700%.


Failure to resolve tenure issues of the area proposed

Including the failure to have any meaningful consultation or involvement of traditional owners. This implies to BREC that the POB has failed to resolve or even edify this issue as required by its TOR.

Ecological processes

The port study has indicated that the proposed area is an area of sedimentation and different phases of sea grass dynamics indicates that important "creation processes" or ecological processes are at work.

It is becoming increasingly clear that River Deltas are dynamic environments and that in order for them to function they need area in which to respond to these dynamics. The flow of sediments and nutrients will be deposited close to the river mouth and gradually dispersed into the bay. In these deposition and mixing zone we expect to see ebbs and flows of benthic communities depending on current inputs a cycle of deposition and recolonisation.

The mineralogy of the rock material used for the bunding has not been examined.

Certain types of mineral in the presence of seawater and fluctuating levels of oxidation and reduction will release iron,aluminium, heavy metals, acid and other marine toxicants that can trigger algae blooms or other changes in marine ecology and chemistry.

Will act as a substantial detour for anyone travelling by boat up the coastline of the Bay.

This can pose an increased safety risk in bad weather. One might also speculate that any marine life moving up or down the coastline will also be similarly impeded.

The cargo ships which will increase in number and size are substantial contributors to marine and air pollution

By discharging ballast water and by using "dirty" bunker oil for fuel. One ship is equivalent to 1000 trucks. In addition to these direct impacts the cargoes themselves can pose serious risks to the marine environment eg hazardous materials, Colbalt-60, Oil etc. The risk of accidental introduction of pests such as the Asian honey bee are ever present.

Road and Rail impacts on all SE suburbs

The cargo must come to the port by either road or rail. These road and rail corridors run through the South eastern suburbs and bushlands of Brisbane. While excluded from the TOR these represent serious impacts on wildlife and residents through air and noise pollution as well the risks of accidents and hazardous materials.

The proponent has failed to refer the issue to the Federal Government under the EPBC act as required for developments adjacent to Ramsar wetlands.

BREC will send its submission along with a "trigger request" to Environment Australia. We believe both the port expansion and its contribution to extending Luggage Points outfall warrants federal consideration because of our obligations under International treaties. (Ramsar, JAMBA and CAMBA )


Yours for nature

Micheal Petter

Coordinator BREC

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