Gravity of fish bans outlined
GLADSTONE region Mayor Gail Sellers has spelled out in no uncertain terms the gravity of the ban on fishing in Gladstone Harbour.
In her mayoral speech to council, Cr Sellers said the region's residents had long accepted the need for industrial activity in balance with the region's coastal lifestyle, but that acceptance was now pushed to the limit.
"On a daily basis our community is faced with industry, increasing impacts on roads and more significantly, housing shortages and rental increases.
"While the harbour and the ability to take the boat out, relax and catch a few fish was available to them, they were accepting, but now this is gone.
"It is extremely important to recognise that this event could be the one that takes away Gladstone's most important asset - and that is acceptance of industry."
She said she had written to the State Government and asked that "the community be advised of all results of all testing, irrespective of how bad or good the results are".
She said confusion over the cause was causing anxiety.
"Our community is still asking questions for which we have no answers," she said
. "Is it safe to swim in these waters? How long before we know the results? And how long will the harbour be closed?
"These questions, as well as others, need to be answered for the sake of the well-being of our region, our harbour and our people."
Fisheries Queensland yesterday responded to queries about the length of the ban, saying: "The temporary closure is initially in place for a period of 21 days, but can be lifted at any time upon scientific advice or test results which shows it is no longer needed," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson confirmed that results from testing on fish by Biosecurity Queensland are expected late this week.
The fishing ban applies in Gladstone Harbour between Deception Creek at the top end of The Narrows, down to Rodds Peninsula and to the outer edge of Facing Island.