No need to fear coastal dredging reports Ports Australia

THERE is no need to fear that major coastal dredging campaigns surrounding our coal and gas terminals have any impact on the environment, at least according to a report from Ports Australia.

The group that represents every port in the country that when given government permission to deepen waters surrounding the facilities, most meet or beat the set environmental conditions.

The Dredging and Australian Ports report does not include new research, but is rather a review.

It described ports as "of equal importance to our road and rail networks" and found "over the past 20 years, there has been an increased awareness of the conservation, ecological and economic value of habitats such as seagrass and corals".The planned dredging campaign at Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen has frustrated environmental activists who claim it could damage the Great Barrier Reef.

The report also found projects off Hay Point south of Mackay and Gladstone Harbour left waters murkier or more turbid, than was approved or predicted.

Report review by dredging expert Dr Ian Irvine said the information appeared accurate "though I have not been able to independently check the monitoring reports" used in the dossier.

The Queensland Resources Council suggested the review eroded credibility of the "reef scare campaign mounted by anti-coal and anti-gas activists".