Proposed marina at Tin Can Bay

Proposed marina at Tin Can Bay

26 November 2010

Hon Tony Burke MP, Minister for Sustainability,
Environment, Water, Population and Communities.
PO Box 6022, House of Representatives
Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

Dear Honorable Member

Re: Proposed marina at Tin Can Bay

While our organization obviously supports tourism we are very aware of the alarming decline in the planet’s biodiversity and the integrity of nature-based experiences.

Tin Can Bay is part of a very special area where high quality terrestrial and marine habitats meet. It is a valuable area for nature based tourism providing a delightful and varied wilderness experience and deserves to be part of a large protected area. As our population inevitably keeps growing coastal areas of such varied habitat and high biodiversity will become increasingly precious.

The marine section is home to endangered vertebrates such as the dugong and the loggerhead turtle and threatened species including the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin and several other turtle species. More boat traffic in the narrow waterways will inevitably mean more collisions between boats and dugongs (a major problem nowadays for the manatees of Florida, and dugongs have been hit in Queensland waters), and destruction of yet more of the sea-grass beds on which dugongs feed.

Mangroves not only serve as breeding grounds for Great Barrier Reef fish and many other species, but act as a barrier against storm surge, a worrying problem given the propensity to bigger cyclones and sea level rise, courtesy of climate change. While NSW is at highest risk with an estimated $18 billion in building losses from such events, Queensland runs a close second (McKenzie Ross Insurance Brokers).

We understand the economic arguments for developing tourism, but areas such as Monkey Mia and Lamington National Park in Australia and Kruger National Park in South Africa have proven themselves extremely important to local economies. As international interest in experiencing nature continues to grow the Cooloola, Tin Can Bay and Fraser region has a marvellous potential to do the same. There are many areas of Australian coastline that are far less vulnerable and far less valuable for biodiversity conservation and nature-based tourism where marinas would do far less harm.

Wildlife Tourism Australia strongly urges your government to oppose this marina, and to look into developing alternative tourism resources in this region that support and enhance the existing natural habitat and acknowledges the value of mangroves.

Yours sincerely

Ronda J Green, Bsc (Hons) PhD
Chair, Wildlife Tourism Australia