IMPACT CONCERN: Curtis Island resident of about 26 years, Cheryl Watson loves where she lives.
IMPACT CONCERN: Curtis Island resident of about 26 years, Cheryl Watson loves where she lives. Brenda Strong

Curtis Island resident sees impact of LNG

HAVING lived in the region for more than half a century, Cheryl Watson has seen more changes in Gladstone than most.

Sadly, the encroachment of industry upon her most treasured spot, Curtis Island, has forced the usually reserved resident to speak out.

"Not only does Curtis Island have sandy beaches, rocky headlands, paperbark forests, woodlands, sand dunes, paperbark swamps, billabongs, amazing birdlife and flora, but we are lucky enough to also have the flatback turtles nesting on our beaches," said Mrs Watson, a founding member of Gladstone Conservation Council.

"It is extremely peaceful and a wonderful place to have the grandchildren," she said.

"It is a wonderful place for families and children can have a freedom here that is not possible on the mainland."

A long-term resident of South End, Mrs Watson said laid-back island living was a feeling only few could understand, and was worth protecting.

"When we first went to the island they had a very long jetty which had a cane trolley on for you to put your gear on, and you had to push it down to the shoreline," she said.

"We did not have to register our vehicles and all the children learnt to drive over here.

"Some people have passed on or left and others have arrived.

"At the moment it is great as we seem to be having a lot of young children coming over again.

"The industry on the western side has created some changes in as much as we occasionally have work vehicles which did not happen before.

"If I could change one thing it would be to take away the LNG industry on the island."

Blue Rocks, a swimming hole on Curtis Island, has been frequented by the Watsons for nearly 20 years.

"I love sharing the natural wonders of Curtis Island to family and friends," Mrs Watson said.