GPC not required to reveal unplanned sewage dumps publicly

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners have raised questions about lack of transparency surrounding environmental incidents in Gladstone harbour, after The Observer's revelation raw sewage was dumped in the harbour.

The incident was one of more than 50 reported on the Gladstone Ports Corporation's massive Western Basin Dredging and Disposal Project since it began.

Documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws revealed 35 oil spills and the "unplanned dumping" of more than 4200 cubic metres of dredge spoil.

But neither the port authority nor Commonwealth regulators are required to reveal details publicly.

Australian Marine Conservation Society campaigner Felicity Wishart has called for "an end to the cover up".

"Now we are starting to see some of the truth come out, and it is not a pretty picture," she said.

However, GPC chief executive Leo Zussino said the incidents reported in the Observer were "not hidden nor failed to be reported by GPC".

All incidents were reported to authorities in line with approval conditions.

GPC said it had "not sought to deviate (from regulations) by releasing to other parties not listed in the conditions".



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