CQUni professor chairs expert panel to oversee port dredging
Published on 13 September, 2011
CQUniversity's Professor Marnie Campbell will chair a newly-formed scientific panel of experts who will oversee the Port Curtis and Port Alma Ecosystem Research and Monitoring Program (ERMP).
Professor Campbell's appointment was made at federal ministerial level and the advisory panel has a lifespan of at least 10 years. It will meet quarterly, or more frequently as needed.
Gladstone Ports Corporation recently announced the ERMP as part of the conditioning requirements of the Western Basin Dredging and Disposal Project.
The panel will outline a world's best practice plan and schedule for assessment, monitoring and maintaining the health of natural and coastal ecosystems of Port Curtis and Port Alma and will quantify any potential impacts caused by the dredging program and practices.
CEO Leo Zussino said the ERMP Advisory Panel (ERMPAP) would operate independently of the Port and would report to the Federal Government.
"We have been extremely fortunate to have enlisted the expertise of Australia's foremost experts in marine environment research to direct the research programmes," Mr Zussino said.
The panel of experts comprises:
- Dr Norm Duke from the University of Queensland-specialising in mangrove vegetation and coastal marine habitats;
- Professor Helene Marsh from James Cook University specialising in dugongs
- Dr Col Limpus from DERM specialising in turtles
- Professor Peter Harrison from Southern Cross University specialising in dolphins
- Dr Richard Fuller from the University of Queensland specialising in shorebirds.
Mr Zussino said the ERMP Advisory Panel had convened once and already a list of possible research projects had been put forward.
"We look forward to seeing the research projects commence," Mr Zussino said.
"In addition to the $17 million already committed to environmental projects within the harbour, this research will assist GPC in ensuring we have a world class harbour alongside a sustainable fishing and crabbing harbour.
"To that end the board of GPC has committed a further $500,000 per annum towards ensuring this happens."