The Shen Neng 1 undergoes repairs in the Great Sandy Marine Park.
The Shen Neng 1 undergoes repairs in the Great Sandy Marine Park. Contributed

'Marine park used as panel shop'

TIN Can Bay marine environmentalist Joe McLeod said the State Government has adopted a “Do as I say, not as I do” attitude towards environmental concerns about the salvaging operation for the stricken coal freighter Shen Neng 1.

“There’s laws for them and there’s laws for us,” he said yesterday, commenting on the parking of the ship in the Great Sandy Marine Park.

“They’ve turned that section of the park into a giant marine panel shop and that’s not a suitable activity in a marine park area.

“But there’s no law against it, so the government and Maritime Safety Queensland can do what they like,” he said.

“When the Pacific Adventurer lost that fertilisers and oil off the Queensland coast, they scoured out the hull right near one of the Green zones in Moreton Bay.

“The area where the Shen Neng is situated is a major whale resting and aggregation zone.

“The ship’s anchors can leave big holes in the sea bed. They’re the size of three cars and fishing vessels can lose their gear in them, but it’s the double standard that’s most annoying,” he said.

Meanwhile, Fraser Coast conservationists praised Maritime Safety Queensland for the openness of its Shen Neng operation.

“We are pleased MSQ has engaged in transparency. Our issue has never been with MSQ, they are doing the best they can,” Wide Bay Conservation Council president Roger Currie said.

“Our concern is that the Great Sandy Marine Park will be viewed as a suitable place for future incidents.

“The community is adamant this episode should not set a precedent,” he said.

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