News

Australians dodged a bullet

BILL Moorhead believes Australians dodged an environmental bullet when thousands of litres of crude oil spilled into the ocean near Ashmore Reef last month.

The Bundaberg resident was on a month-long fact-gathering mission of birdlife and other marine animals.

The West Atlas rig and Montara well head platform, located more than 200km off the Kimberley coastline in Western Australia, began to leak oil on August 21.

The slick flowed with the tide towards the reef.

The rig then burst into flames last week as the company that owns it attempted to block the leak with mud.

Ashmore Reef is heavily controlled by Australian customs and few people are allowed to venture there because of the fragile nature of the environment.

Mr Moorhead left from Broome on October 5, travelling to within 140km of Indonesia.

“It’s light crude oil (that spilled) and it has had minimal environmental damage,” he said.

“The slick in the photographs — we’re not sure if it was dead plankton or wax from the retardant.”

Mr Moorhead said the retardant was what the company that owns the rig had put on the oil in an attempt to mop it up.

“Because it was light crude, it may have evaporated once it hit the surface,” he said.

“The retardant may have actually made it worse.

“They spent a lot of money and could have made (the spill) worse.”

The Bundaberg conservationist said while it was a significant spill, it was still a long way from breeding bird colonies on the reef’s many islands.

“But a smaller spill closer to the islands would have been a disaster,” Mr Moorhead said.

The environmentalist said it was a warning not to “muck around” in pristine conservation areas.

“We’ve dodged a bullet on this one,” he said.

“We have to be careful about mining.

“It’s often impossible to juggle environmental needs with the mighty dollar.”

Mr Moorhead spent the month with his son, Jack, and some of the top birdwatchers in the country observing and recording the different birds, turtles, and other marine life that used the islands in the reef, or passed through during their migration.

“It’s incredibly hot and it’s long days,” he said.

“We’d start at 4.30am, have a snooze at lunch and then work until about 6.30pm.”



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Police put youth on their side

Bundaberg Police Station in Bourbong Street.
Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail

Big issues discussed

Expect a very costly Christmas

Money, cash, coins, Australia dollar and two dollar coins.
Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate

Revealing cost of living report

$4000 fine for fishing in a green zone

Lady Musgrave Island during the Underwater Instameet on Saturday. Photo: Mark Fitz Photography

Offender was an experienced seaman

Local Partners

Rob's off to start a fresh new chapter

AFTER more than three decades delivering fruit and vegies to loyal customers across Bundaberg, Robert Ward is packing up his ute and retiring.


What's on: Saturday, December 3

Not sure what to do today? We've got you covered

Head to the sugar museum for a sweet taste of history

Cutting the ribbon to officially open the revamped Sugar Museum at Fairymead House is Mayor Jack Dempsey and Fairymead House Team Leader Hayley Vale.

Learn about the industry that made Bundy what it is

List of gigs happening around Bundy

KEY NOTE: Country singer Alex Peden. Photo: Scottie Simmonds / NewsMail

There's a live show for everyone

Mel Gibson named Best Director at AACTA Awards

Mel Gibson poses in the media room after winning the AACTA Award for Best Direction for Hacksaw Ridge.

HIS wartime drama Hacksaw Ridge sweeps 6th annual awards in Sydney.

Mark Hamill unaware his co-stars were romantically involved

Hamill too "self-involved" at the time to notice, he said

ABC's Fresh Blood graduates are a Skit Box full of laughs

Sarah Bishop, Greta Lee Jackson and Adele Vuko in a scene from the TV series Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am.

ALL-female comedy trio hitting the mark with new sketch show.

Kim Kardashian West said to be looking for a divorce

Kim Kardashian West is looking to file for divorce from her husband

HBO announces which show will replace Game of Thrones

Diana Rigg, Natalie Dormer, and Hannah Waddingham in a scene from Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones is definitely not coming back next April

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!