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A young koala's beach adventure

June 25th 2010
TCC Notice: Nelly Bay Shoreline Erosion Management Plan

Following is a message from Townsville City Council regarding the Nelly Bay Shoreline Erosion Management Plan.



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TCC Notice: Nelly Bay Shoreline Erosion Management Plan
 
3 comments
 
Chasmac
June 27th 2010
TCC Notice: Nelly Bay Shoreline Erosion Management Plan

This is a comprehensive study and report and anyone with a bit of time and headspace to spare should have a go at reading it and trying to make sense of it. There are some stand-out conclusions which don't make sense to me (and I will take them up with the the committee later but I think there is a particular aggravation at the source of this problem which unfortunately this committee is either unable or unwilling to tackle. I quote:

"However the Marine Parks Permit issued for the construction, maintenance and operation of Nelly Bay Harbour states:
“The Permittee must maintain water flow at Mean Low Water Mark under the breakwater bridge and around the breakwater on all sides with connection to the ocean and must ensure that such water flow is maintained continuously thereafter, …..”
Consequently Queensland’s Department of Main Roads and Transport undertakes annual clearance of sand from this area to ensure that the required tidal flows are reinstated beneath the road bridge by 01st July of each year. The removed sand is placed on Nelly Bay beach. "

The entire report and proposed action (construction of a training wall or groyne parallel to the existing breakwater) is premised on the absolute unshakeability of the need to keep open the channel under the bridge. Yet the committee has made no attempt whatsoever to examine the reasoning behind this arrangement and the possibility that legislation or other administrative action could actually resolve this environmental disability in one simple step. Keep in mind that the entire marine area of Horseshoe Bay was excluded from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park by the stroke of a pen about a year ago. I think the committee is too constrained by its own conservative and blinkered agenda with seemingly no capacity to think outside the square. Too many engineers and not enough practical commonsense bureau/technocrats?
 
chasmac
June 28th 2010
Mr Editor, I'd like to propose a political quandary and invite suggestions from your reader/s (sometimes I wonder!) on how one might practically deal with it.
The above subject, the matter of an ongoing, now-measurable (though not yet peer-reviewed) act of environmental degradation and neglect, being caused to a publicly owned, World Heritage listed, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park coral reef site, unequivocally and uncontestedly arising directly from a Federally approved and re-approved, Queensland Government funded, jointly supervised development project - within the boundaries of the, not-entirely-at-arms-length-ever, Local Government of Townsville City. Let's be completely clear. The Beattie Labor Government with the complete collusion of the Mooney Labor council, by various arrangements with contractors and financial backers, bought, built and paid for the Nelly Bay harbour. The breakwater (Presto Breakwater) is in fact an island in the (federal) Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, connected to the 'mainland' of Queensland by that bridge - the Constitution Bridge. The erosion damage to the land along the Esplanade is occurring entirely on State land, below the High Water mark, not Council land. Only the State and Federal governments can be held responsible. In my opinion, the only appropriate (let alone legal, scientifically acceptable and morally responsible) course of action is for the Federal Government to directly intervene, conduct an inquiry into the obvious failure of the (Federal) assessment and approval process at Nelly Bay and initiate appropriate action - as prescribed by its own legislation.
So my question is, what is the name of the person to whom I should direct my attention? Is a Gillard government likely to be more action-ready than an Abbott opposition? Do they ever want to know or are real, measured factual events just too much like actual work? The Queensland Government's hands might as well be tied (I wish!) whilst ever the Federal Government, through the GBRMPA, unconditionally demands that the water flow under the bridge "continuously thereafter", for ever more. This provision, this Federal Government licence to the State to act, is directly creating the erosion problem. Government simply will not address the issue of its own capability for mistakes and oversight. No responsibility, no issue. It just goes away (a bit).
 
chasmac
July 8th 2010
Dear Ed,
It's been ten days and either no one's got a clue or no one has a clue.
And, according to the (Marine Parks permit) rules, the sand should now be removed from under the bridge because the beach erosion sort of stops when the sand builds up under the Constitution Bridge. Curious eh?


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