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Dead dugongs a glimpse into the future for Kimberley gas hub

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 29 Jul 2011

The Australian Greens have called on the Government to further investigate what impact the James Price Point gas hub will have on Kimberley marine life, as dead dugongs continue to wash up on Gladstone Harbour in Queensland, near a LNG facility under construction in the area.

“It is highly likely that the James Price Point development could also adversely impact on dugongs, and other marine animals, in the Kimberley. According to the Government’s own reports, dredging and blasting of seabeds and reefs for the gas hub would lead to a 50km2 ‘marine deadzone’. This is a huge area to take out of an important international marine sanctuary.”, Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens Spokesperson on the Kimberley, Fisheries and Marine said today. 

“Dugongs travel up and down the Penninsula and are likely to feed on the patches of seagrass that lie off the coast.  We don’t know how taking out a massive area in the middle of their travel route would affect them, but the similar situation in Queensland doesn’t give me much confidence,” Senator Siewert said.

The construction of the LNG facility in Glastone includes liquification plants, pipelines and port facilities. Since May, 4 dugongs, 3 dolphins and 40 turtles have been found washed up around the harbour

“These creatures could be starving to death, or the silt could be choking them, or a combination of both.  We can learn from the experience in Queensland to make sure marine life in the Kimberley doesn’t suffer the same fate. This gas development at James Price Point could condemn our precious marine life.” concluded Senator Siewert

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