Les Dunstan and Joe McLeod are delighted at the reception they received from Environment Minister Vicky Darling.
Les Dunstan and Joe McLeod are delighted at the reception they received from Environment Minister Vicky Darling. Renee Pilcher

Dolphin advocates go to top

TIN Can Bay's dolphin feeding defenders won a substantial victory yesterday over their opponents in the Department of Environment and Resource Management.

Barnacles Cafe co-owner Les Dunstan and environmental consultant Joe McLeod yesterday reported their delight at meeting with Environment Minister Vicky Darling in Ms Darling's Sandgate electoral office.

Mr McLeod, who claims many fishermen have a higher level of formal environmental qualification than some of the bureaucrats regulating them, expressed his delight at the reception the two received.

"We went down for a half-hour meeting and we were there for an hour," he said.

"They had our report and the DERM staff there could not refute any of it," he said, referring to a 49-page submission he prepared for the current government review of dolphin feeding in the bay.

Mr McLeod said his submission had challenged some of the false science in the government-issued discussion paper on the review, proving that much of it was not science at all.

He said Ms Darling had stressed that the government had no intention of ever stopping the feeding and appeared to be highly critical of departmental staff who had prepared the discussion paper.

"She said the bureaucrats got the wording of the discussion paper wrong, said it was written in a "bureaucratic manner" and that it could have been better done.

"Our document dealt with several scientific papers referred to in the paper and supporting documents and demonstrated that even experts can get published scientific material wrong.

"We demonstrated that feeding at Tin Can Bay evolved spontaneously," Mr McLeod said.

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