Senate inquiry hears of Reef oversight shortfalls

Fish of many different species - and human visitors - meet at the Lighthouse Bommie on the Great Barrier Reef.
Fish of many different species - and human visitors - meet at the Lighthouse Bommie on the Great Barrier Reef. Supplied

ENVIRONMENTALISTS in central Queensland have renewed concerns about the effects of a handover of federal environmental approvals to the Queensland Government on the Great Barrier Reef.

The handover of Commonwealth approval powers is already underway; with many stakeholders concerned it removes a key oversight function of the federal government.

Organisers of both the Capricorn Conservation Council and Keppel and Fitzroy Delta Alliance raised their concerns with a Senate inquiry hearing in Mackay on Tuesday.

CCC co-rdinator Michael McCabe told the inquiry he was worried the handover could see more local councils forced to deal with approvals of major projects.

He said many councils had neither the resources nor expertise to deal with many complex industrial developments, particularly those councils on the state's coast.

Mr McCabe also raised recent state reforms of native vegetation laws and land management as potentially undoing much work completed by farmers and beef producers in central Queensland to minimise sediment run-off.

KAFDA co-ordinator Ginny Gerlach also told the inquiry local residents remained concerned the Abbott Government had not ruled out a coal port proposed for the Fitzroy Delta.

Despite the window for state government approvals having lapsed, Ms Gerlach said the proposal had remained on the Federal Government books, and as such no guarantee was given it would not go ahead.

She said it was found by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to have had extreme risks for the largest delta in the reef World Heritage Area, and that no similar projects should be allowed to go ahead.

While proponents Mitchell Group have largely abandoned that port in favour of a similar proposal at Hay Point, Ms Gerlach said local residents were still waiting on such a guarantee from Canberra.

The inquiry continues on Wednesday with hearings in Townsville.

Topics:  capricorn conservation council great barrier reef senate inquiry

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Protesters rain on Adani's parade

ANGRY: Protesters gathered in Townsville to voice opposition to the Carmichael Mine.

Carmichael mine approval didn't stop protesters from having a say.

Carols by the Beach delights crowds at Airlie Beach

Harrison Lovekin of the Cannonvale State School prepares to take the stage at Carols by the Beach.

Carols a huge success at Airlie Beach.

Police catch Airlie's 'E' on a runner with man

The E from the Welcome to Airlie Beach sign was  stolen.

Police have arrested the man caught with Airlie's missing 'E'

Local Partners

Andy and Milly back on the road again

Andy and his dog, Milly are walking again after negative comments left Andy frightened to leave the house last week

Man builds playground entirely out of packing tape

Artist Eric Lennartson is in the process of completing his huge tape sculpture at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

VIDEO:And here's where you can play on it.

Countdown to Woodford Folk Festival begins

ECONOMIC BOON: Woodford Folk Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.  Photo Contributed

The first larger-than-life inhabitants have stepped into Woodfordia

'I need to do what I can': 65km walk for cancer patient

Karlee Robinson is walking from Caloundra to Noosa for her cousin Aaron Parker, who has terminal brain cancer.

What do you do when someone you love has terminal brain cancer?

David Beckham's tattoos come to life for UNICEF campaign

David Beckham has called for an end to violence against children

Pop star Liam Payne's Facebook hacked with porn

"Things that can happen to you when you don't have sex."

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather during his childhood.

Leo designs shocker tattoo for Tom Hardy after lost bet

Leonardo DiCaprio has designed a new tattoo for Tom Hardy

Hollywood star at home on the Coffs Coast

FEELING LUCKY, SON?: Scott Eastwood visited the Coffs Coast

Guess which Hollywood star has been seen around the Coffs Coast?

Ricky Gervais: There's 'no point' marrying Jane Fallon

RICKY Gervais "doesn't see the point" in marrying Jane Fallon.

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Prices jump in trio of mining towns

THE boost in coal prices in the past six months has triggered a house price jump in at least three mining towns in Central Queensland.

Boost in coal prices triggers a market turnaround

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!