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POWELL MEDIA RELEASE – Public meeting vows to protect Pumicestone Passage (1 December 2010)

 The controversial Caloundra South development and its effects on the fragile Pumicestone Passage were aired at a public meeting at Golden Beach yesterday.

Member for Caloundra, Mark McArdle, said the Federal Shadow Environment Minister Greg Hunt had accepted an invitation to visit the region and hear first-hand concerns held by community groups, local environmental organisations and the general public.

Federal Member for Longman, Wyatt Roy and the State Member for Glass House, Andrew Powell also attended the meeting.

Mr McArdle said the future of the whole region could well depend on the need to preserve Pumicestone Passage from erosion and pollution.

“Just last month the Annual Healthy Waterways Partnership report card recorded a drop of a full grade in water quality. The passage recorded a D+ as opposed to a C+ the year before, “he said.

“And now the State Government wants to cram another 22,000 homes along the banks of this fragile ecosystem.

“We have to fight this all the way.”

Mr Hunt said he and the Federal Opposition were well aware of the impending danger to Pumicestone Passage.

“It’s typical of the policy-on-the-run attitude of the State Government whose environmental record is as pitiful as its handling of the health system and the water grid,” he commented.

“It’s true to say one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing in the Queensland Government and it’s the people who are suffering.

“It seems ludicrous to me that a waterway as environmentally significant at the Pumicestone Passage could be treated so carelessly – it borders on sacrilegious,” Mr Hunt said.

“There must be a full and open assessment into this whole project. Any attempt to quash local views will only further heighten suspicion about it.”

Mr Roy and Mr Powell were right behind Mr Hunt’s comments.

Mr Roy said any development which could affect the value of the wetlands had federal implications.

“It’s good that Mr Hunt can see this proposal first-hand so he is informed when it comes before Federal Parliament,” he said.

Mr Powell said it was crucial that the inter-urban green corridor between Caboolture and the Sunshine Coast was maintained

“We should be doing all we can to not only protect the passage and its catchments but to improve them,” Mr Powell concluded.

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