Keppel and Fitzroy Delta Alliance coordinator Ginny Gerlach on a catamaran during the trip around the region looking at areas where proposed coal and gas ports are planned.
Keppel and Fitzroy Delta Alliance coordinator Ginny Gerlach on a catamaran during the trip around the region looking at areas where proposed coal and gas ports are planned. Daniel Burdon

Green groups take heart at Fitzroy Delta assurance

GREEN groups have welcomed Environment Minister Greg Hunt's assurance he hopes to protect the Fitzroy Delta in central Queensland from coal developments.

His comments, on ABC's Lateline on Monday night, came after talks with the Queensland Government about the Fitzroy Terminal project and development at Balaclava Island.

It also follows recent revelations that the former environment minister, Tony Burke, did not receive official advice warning of "extreme risks" associated with the Fitzroy Terminal Project.

But while Keppel and Fitzroy Delta Alliance co-ordinator Ginny Gerlach welcomed the comments, she said it was time for action, not words.

Ms Gerlach said the two projects still on the table "could destroy the Fitzroy Delta forever" and, with it, a population of rare snubfin dolphins.

"These proposals have been looming over the community for two years and threaten our future," she said.

"We need these threats removed and action to secure the long term protection of this critical habitat."

A campaigner for more protection of the Great Barrier Reef also welcomed Mr Hunt's comments, but called on the minister to halt all new proposals near the reef.

Australian Marine Conservation Society campaigner Felicity Wishart said protection offered to the delta should be reflected across the entire reef.

"It is vital this area is given long term protection and that the rest of the reef is also protected from port expansions, dredging, dumping and a shipping superhighway," she said.

"Dredging and dumping in the waters churns up sediment which travels long distances, choking coral and marine life."


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