No reef impacts: Zussino
THE Gladstone Port Corporation is certain developments in the harbour are not impacting on the Great Barrier Reef but is willing to spend more than $1 million to be absolutely sure.
Last year GPC offered the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority $1.1 million dollars over three years to monitor water quality at the Gladstone Port limits.
GPC CEO Leo Zussino said he was confident there were no impacts to the Great Barrier Reef.
"However, GPC would like to know as soon as possible to be 100 per cent certain," he said.
But on Monday Mr Zussino publicly slammed the marine park authority for "dragging the chain on this for 15 months now".
"They should get on with the business of deciding what to monitor for, and do it," he said.
But the authority hit back, saying it provided GPC with a draft proposal on how it planned to carry out the work in September 2012. And GPC didn't provide a response until this month.
A spokeswoman for the authority said they were now working with the ports to finalise the contract for the monitoring program and anticipated work to start between now and 2014.
Mr Zussino said he was simply trying to highlight the importance of finding out potential impacts to the reef.
"The point I was making on Monday was that it is important for the Australian public to have a clear understanding of potential impacts to the Great Barrier Reef with the development of the Port of Gladstone," he said.
"In regard to that, I would like to see the (authority) implement a water quality monitoring program at the Gladstone Port limits as soon as possible, because Australians should know of any impacts from developments and (the authority) should advise the people of Australia."
The $1.1 million offered the authority by GPC to conduct the water quality monitoring program over three years includes $700,000 to set up in the first year, $200,000 for the second year and another $200,000 for the third year