FED UP: Joe McLeod and Les Dunstan are frustrated with Gympie Regional Council's silence relating to their concerns about the Norman Point Jetty.
FED UP: Joe McLeod and Les Dunstan are frustrated with Gympie Regional Council's silence relating to their concerns about the Norman Point Jetty. Renee Albrecht

WAR OF WORDS: Controversial Tin Can jetty debate continues

GYMPIE Regional Council's community consultation standards have copped further criticisms amid continued controversy over the proposed Norman Point Jetty at Tin Can Bay.

A war of words erupted in late August when Barnacles Dolphin Centre marine environmental advocate Joe McLeod slammed the jetty project as a significant environmental and economic threat to Tin Can Bay, and claimed council had conducted "no real public consultation on the project".

 

Feeding the dolphins at Tin can Bay.
Photo:Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily
Feeding the dolphins at Tin can Bay. Photo:Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily Warren Lynam

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Cooloola Coast councillor Mark McDonald strongly rejected the concerns and said "there (was) no intention to harm or feed the dolphins that currently come into Snapper Creek", before welcoming Mr McLeod to "contact him at any time".

Mr McLeod, along with Barnacles manager Les Dunstan, have since questioned the legitimacy of Cr McDonald's invitations.

"There's no element of trust with McDonald and (council) on this issue," Mr McLeod said.

"They've (council) had the opportunity ... who has come down here to talk with us?

"Last time McDonald came here was ... almost 12 months ago, we told him we needed to talk to him and he said he'd get back to us in two weeks.

"It's been the same for three or four years. He can ring me up any time, I'm tired of ringing him up."

 

Wild Dolphin feeding at Tin Can Bay Patch is easily identified by the pink pigment of her dorsal fin.
Wild Dolphin feeding at Tin Can Bay Patch is easily identified by the pink pigment of her dorsal fin.

Through "around 50" stringent conditions of operation enforced by the state government, the Dolphin Feeding Program at Barnacles remains as one of just two locations in Queensland where such activity is legal.

Mr McLeod said concerns over the proposed jetty's potential to compromise that program had gone unanswered by Cr McDonald's referrals to "detailed studies" carried out by "council's environmental consultants" in 2016.

"I haven't seen any documentation or environmental assessment for 2016," he said.

"All we want to know is have they got an environmental management system put in place and a safety management system in place?"

Cr McDonald was on leave at the time of writing and could not be reached for comment.

"Dolphin feeding is illegal, except in the designated area in Snapper Creek and anyone who was seen to be feeding dolphins off the proposed jetty would be subject to heavy penalties," Cr McDonald previously said.

"In no way do anglers want to harm the dolphins."

Gympie Times


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