Singapore Defence Deal Sparks Worries Over Shoalwater Bay Environmental Impact

9 May 2016

The state Member for Rockhampton has raised concerns about environmental implications of planned developments at Shoalwater Bay.

The Federal Government announced a lucrative deal with Singapore last week which could see up to $1 billion spent on infrastructure and road upgrades for the military training area, north of Rockhampton, as well as Townsville.

Bill Byrne said he wanted to know what impacts that work would have on the surrounding area and where exactly the money would be spent.

"It looks to me like a very substantial increase in footprint and signature," he said.

"I very much doubt there's been any thorough evaluation on the environmental implications of such infrastructure [that] has been proposed and as most of us know that training area here and Shoalwater is the most significant and sensitive environmental site on the east coast, south of the Cape.

"There is no detail and there's going to be very little possibility of actually interrogating that detail given that the Liberal National Coalition party is going into caretaker mode.

"So quite optimism I suppose but I think there are a very, very large number of questions that need to be answered by particularly the local federal Member about exactly what this means."

The federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, admits she is not across the environmental conditions that have been placed on the deal with Singapore.

However, she said she was confident the area would be protected.

"The environmental conditions up there are very strict," she said.

"Part of the deal of using that is it has to stay clean and pristine, so if there is any problems up there it has to be fixed up immediately.

"I haven't seen all the environmental conditions on this but I feel quite sure they will be very strict as anything else since we've been in government have."

Ms Landry said the new deal provided details of Singapore's plans.

"There is a huge breakdown of it," she said.

"It is going to be creating infrastructure up at Shoalwater Bay, it's going to improve the facilities up there but they're talking about fixing up roads and all the rest of it, telecommunications, so there is a massive list."


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