Harbour turbidity up again

TURBIDITY in Gladstone Harbour has again become a hot topic.

A caller alerted The Observer to data showing turbidity had been over the exceedence level for up to eight consecutive days since October 24.

The Observer has asked Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) to verify whether the turbidity levels have been over exceedence levels during that period.

The data is freely available on the GPC website, although The Observer is waiting to receive a clearer understanding of it.

The cutter suction dredge operating in Gladstone Harbour was stopped on October 24. A GPC spokesperson said the cutter suction dredge was stopped for two reasons.

"Firstly last week we had spring tides again with a four metre tidal flow. Turbidity in the harbour was quite high as a result," she said. "As part of our turbidity management plan it was decided by the Dredging Technical Reference Panel to suspend cutter suction dredging at key points of the tidal flows to ascertain if the cutter suction was having an impact on turbidity levels."

"(Secondly,) dredging was suspended completely for one day whilst VODI completed a safety training day for all staff. Apart from that the backhoe dredges continued operation throughout, so in fact, dredging was not stopped."

The spokesperson said the backhoe dredgers and the cutter section dredger were back in operation.

The spokesperson also said work had progressed on correcting the seal of the bund wall at Fishermans Landing.