Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

January 13th 2008
Free ocean terminal forum

An aerial view of the TOT Magnetic Island commuters and visitors pass the "Duck Pond" and site for the Townsville Ocean Terminal daily from the ferries travelling up and down Ross Creek. So a free public forum to discuss the The Townsville Ocean Terminal (TOT) Environmental Impact Statement which is being held this Wednesday, January 16, at the Southbank Convention Centre, may well be of interest.

The forum has been organised by the Environment Institute of Australia & New Zealand and will be presented by Peter Trathen of City Pacific Ltd, proponents of the TOT Project

The project comprises:
*a dedicated cruise/military terminal and wharf to receive cruise ships and naval vessels, located on the western breakwater adjacent to the Port of Townsville.

*reclamation of land under tidal water for an integrated residential and commercial development comprising approximately 700 single and multistorey dwellings.

*artificial waterways and marina facilities for general recreational vessels and visiting super-yachts.

*new foreshore public open space areas including a park to be established at the northern end of the development.

An artist's impression of the TOT looking south

The TOT has been declared a significant project by the Queensland Government requiring an EIS and will also be assessed under the Commonwealth's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

A flyover image and other artist's impressions can be found (here)

Members of the public can download the EIS files (here) and make submissions responding to the EIS to the State Coordinator-General.

The final date for lodgement of submissions is 1 February 2008. Submissions can be sent to:

EIS Project Manager
Townsville Ocean Terminal Project
Major Projects Division
Department of Infrastructure and Planning
PO Box 15009 City East Qld 4002 Australia
Telephone:+61 7 3234 0518
Facsimile:+61 7 3225 8282

Forum details:
Wednesday 16th January
5pm for 5.30pm start

Free ocean terminal forum
January 14th 2008
The material in the corporate links provided reveals that there are about 700 dwellings (dual occupancy houses, units in five-and-more storey blocks plus at least one tower block) proposed around this glorified marina and canal estate. All in open seawater about three metres or so deep at low tide. That's 700 dwellings presented on a platter for the delectation of any passing storm surge, tsunami, general sea level rise or of course any old cyclone. Whilst it is true that any damage to houses or units caused by a cyclone might be covered by insurance (checked your policy lately?), the same cannot be said for damage caused to the breakwaters or the reclaimed land upon which all these dwellings (and all that expensive infrastructure) are to be built. Who will pay for that disastrous consequence? I suspect that the taxpayers of Queensland would be prevailed upon to pick up that tab under some sort of emergency natural disaster relief. How handy is that for these developers? In a way, the Queensland Government is underwriting this housing development - as if it is essential to put new housing out in the sea on a cyclone vulnerable shore.

What's more it is right alongside the port of Townsville which will continue to import indefinitely at least 4 million tonnes of nickel ore annually, zinc concentrate for the other refinery, cement powder by the shipload as well as exporting various ores (zinc, lead etc), various metals (zinc, copper, lead, nickel, cadmium etc), various fertilizers, various toxic wastes like sulphuric acid, various livestock and a whole landscape of raw sugar - all of which will find a way to produce more of that curious and mysterious dust which is already seriously disturbing the area of The Strand, North Ward and Yarrawonga - all of which are downwind of the port.

And just because they refer to it as an EIS doesn't mean it's a real environmental impact statement. This is a phoney EIS for in-house consideration only by the Minister for Local Government. He can ditch it when he's finished with it, if he reads it at all. Don't think that someone like NQCC or Greenpeace will get real soon enough and take to the courts to challenge this thing. No such luck. Almost two years ago the then Deputy Premier and Treasurer, Anna Bligh, legislated to remove the entire project from the purview and interference of the Integrated Planning Act (IPA) and the Judicial Review Act. Even if you could engage the developers or the Queensland Government in a conversation about the proposal they are not obliged to make their plans public and the courts are explicitly out of bounds for ANY legal action whatsoever. Sure, you can go to the forum and sure you can make enquiries but if you have a problem (or even if you don't have a problem) you can just sod off. This is casino land - ie. land that the Queensland Treasury has a direct stake in. They are not interested in coasts, shores, community consultation, the environment, climate change or any of that greenie shit that gets between them and their gambling money. You can just sod off.

What do you think? Send us your comments.

Readers comments
suemac In reply to Fair raises $15,000 for school
Well done everyone! Once again our fabulous community had a great day out and raised funds for a deserving cause - pat on back to all.
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