The cumulative impact of repeated incidents like this is damaging our inshore environment, hampering inshore coral and seagrass recovery from TC Debbie and harming our tourism industry.
You can see the steepness but not the full size of the area cleared. It is at least the size of 4 house blocks.
This development site is a large, steep block at the top of Dashers Drive, just above the Tropic Road Parkland. As far as I am aware the site was scraped clear of all vegetation sometime this month, and earthworks started.
Given the likelihood of heavy rain in this La Nina wet season, and the extreme steepness of the slope, it could be easily predicted that this would have an adverse effect on water quality.
So I went and took a few pictures of the process in action, and to my amazement, the machines were still operating in the heavy rain. I am not sure about the OHS risk of this, but the environmental impact is pretty obvious in the attached images.
This is where the water drains into the creek in Tropic Road Park. The water on the left is from under Tropic Road itself, from the existing street, and the water on the right, coloured brown, is coming from under the road from Dasher Drive.
This is how it looks once it reaches Shute Harbour Road, where there is a straight run, via concrete drain, to the mangroves, seagrass meadows and the islands.
You can also see here the brown water running off the flatter housing development behind the Park, opposite Reeces store, coming out on the left bank.
For comparison, here is the output from the grassed drain along Shute Harbour Road.
This is the impact from just a few hours of moderate rain (38mm in my gauge since yesterday), on two relatively small development sites. The cumulative impact of repeated incidents like this is damaging our inshore environment, hampering inshore coral and seagrass recovery from TC Debbie and harming our tourism industry.
If this is the accepted standard for development in the Whitsundays, inshore water quality here will not improve, and the prospects for our inshore reefs (the most accessible and visited) are very poor, regardless of all the money that gets thrown at ‘water quality’ and ‘reef resilience’.
Local Resident, name supplied 26-2-21
Editor’s note: Cr Al Grundy was quick to respond and WRC is investigating. We will have more as this unfolds.