The Fraser Island Defenders Organisation (FIDO) has initiated a program to put Great Sandy Strait under the microscope to study the potential impact of the water proposed to be discharged from the Colton Coal mine.
FIDO founder, John Sinclair, said the there is a lot of justification for alarm bells to be ringing about the potential environmental impact of the mine on the Ramsar-listed wetland and the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island.
With the Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee and that Greater Mary Association, FIDO is establishing a Research Fund that has already reached $25,000 and which it is aimed will reach $50,000, to enable students and others to carry out research projects to establish the impacts of the discharge water on the heritage-listed waterway.
“There are several issues we have identified and we are inviting students, tutors and others to put in bids to have their proposed research projects funded. We expect to start dispensing funds early in the new academic year,” Mr Sinclair said.
To raise additional research funds FIDO has planned a series of boat cruises starting and finishing at the Hervey Bay Boat Club, with the next planned for January 23.
“As well as exposing passengers to the marvelous riches of Great Sandy Strait, the boat cruises will be exploring those parts of the Ramsar site that will be most heavily impacted by the mine discharge water,” Mr Sinclair said.
“There will be some expert commentary about this globally recognized waterway on all cruises, to help build a greater appreciation and understanding of this most precious waterway,” Mr Sinclair concluded.