Here in Gladstone we’ve been waiting for the approval of the much announced news of the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) project: http://www.glng.com.au/Default.aspx?p=1
Some groups are absolutely certain that the green light has been given for the building of several gas processing plants on Curtis Island, located just across the harbour from our city, while others are pointing to the fact that the Environmental Impact Statement has not yet been approved by Govt.
Those ‘for’ the project are keen for the boost to our local economy that hordes of workers and investors will bring. The LNG project will double Gladstones’ population in a very short time, and not only will this impact on our resources, water, accomodation, and standard of living, it may even be enough to get our city put on one of the television weather maps of a night.
Those ‘against’ the project ( http://www.savecurtisisland.com/ ) are convinced that the devastation caused by building of new wharfs, bunded areas, and reclaimed harbour walls, will destroy what is left of the sea grasses needed by the local dugong population. Also they have some reasonable concerns regarding the safety of the product, and the potential for a disaster on our doorstep.
Added to the calls for the project to either be stopped, moved, or more heavily monitored by an independent umpire, are the folk out west where the gas is being sourced. The noise, smells, and chemical pollutants are causing concerns for residents whose homes are on, or near the wells and a movement has sprung up to air those concerns: http://www.tarablockies.com/
Meanwhile, the owners of Keppel Island, want to replace an existing resort but their plan was cancelled by the Hon. Pete Garrett himself. But Pete was strangely quiet about LNG’s plans to backfill Gladstone Harbour. Perhaps he was too busy putting out fires closer to home?
It will be interesting to see which way the coin falls, but from what I’ve personally seen so far, there has already been a lot of development occurring on the island, regardless of what the result the EIS may have to say.