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   July comment from Ben Collins, Editor Bush 'n Beach Fishing magazine

I think I’m generally a positive or ‘glass-half-full’ kind of guy, though it seems my recent editorials have focused on negative rather than positive issues. Maybe the negative issues draw increased attention or are under the microscope more often, leaving the things done properly less documented.

However, as much as I’d like to put a positive spin on this month’s blurb I find myself again questioning the decision by governments to go ahead with the new multi-billion-dollar Brisbane Airport parallel runway. It’s not that I’m against the runway, as the construction process will provide more jobs for Queenslanders.

It is also going to allow a greater number of people to come to this great state, resulting in a tourism boost that will in turn bring in more dollars. What I am questioning is how the Brisbane Airport Corporation is allowed to dredge Moreton Bay for sand (apparently 13 million cubic metres is needed).

Also of interest is the reclamation of part of the bay, though it probably won’t be as much as for the Port of Brisbane. The Greens fought tooth and nail to have the bay full of green zones with the update of the last management plan, yet the dredging seems to have received very little attention from them.

This dredging will not only destroy the seabed where the sand is taken from but also pollute a massive amount of water. Healthy Waterways reviews clearly identify pollution as one of the major contributing factors to the poor health of the Moreton Bay ecosystem. It’s not from people fishing or using the resources, but pollution from run-off and things such as dredging.

Dredging the volume of fill required will release massive amounts of sediment into the water, which will have a devastating impact on seagrass and local reefs. It’s just absurd that areas such as NMP14 can be made into green zones because a particular type of bottom apparently needs to be protected, yet a large corporation is given the go-ahead to dredge similar areas. How can this be?

Once again it just shows how far down the rung we recreational fishos really are. It is disappointing because Moreton Bay could be an international destination for anglers and tourists, with possibly some of the best fishing in the world. However, there would have to be a number of massive changes for this to happen including the removal of commercial netting licences… but that’s a whole new debate.

Ben Collins