Queensland goes Bush league

If you’ve been following the Australian lungfish saga, there’s a new development, and it’s an ugly one. As the Noosa Journal reports (they don’t seem to have a web accessible archive, so this issue may vanish soon; here’s a screenshot), the Queensland government is actively suppressing scientific information that highlights the environmental costs of building the damaging dams.

The Beattie Government has ordered the shredding of a vital report used to list the unique Queensland lungfish under Federal environmental laws, according to a world authority on the species, Macquarie University’s Professor Jean Joss. The shredding order follows suppression of the report shortly after it was published, she said.

If the order is carried out, a vital piece of evidence will have been destroyed to support a challenge to the Mary River Dam under Federal Environmental laws.

The suppressed study analyzed the effects of a small weir that was put on the Burnett River, showing that it had a drastic effect on lungfish breeding and recruitment, and predicted that the greater effect of a dam would “reduce recruitment to a Critically Endangered level, at which extinction is assured.”

You know the other side is completely in the wrong when they’re reduced to hiding reality. The Queensland government seems to have adopted the American Republican style of policy making.


  1. J Daley says

    Is there anything you know of that we can do about this from America? Is there contact information for the Queensland govt?

  2. says

    *sigh*, and Beattie is doing so well in the polls, it’s pretty much assured they will get re-elected.

    Lets just hope they reverse their decision on this, although we do need the water, the dam they want to put in is fairly pointless (low rainfall in that area apparently)

  3. T_U_T says

    Hey, physical reality doesn’t exist at all, so why to care about some lungfish ?!?! Just let’s kill them all, and assert afterwards that they never have existed in the first place. &lt/rant&gt

  4. says

    Breaking News: In order to justify de-planeting Pluto and not Neptune (since neither of them “clears the area around them”, the key trait used to zap Pluto from the list of the planets), the Pluto-haters went and redefined “classical planet” to include the trans-Saturnians:

    Um, guys: The WHOLE REASON the term “classical planet” exists in the first place was as a way to define the planets whose existence we’ve known of since before the discovery of Uranus. Now they’re doing the moral equivalent of trying to say that black is now white, just to justify going after Pluto!

  5. says

    J Daley,

    There’s no point contacting the Queensland Gov’t — they are the problem. The hope is that that Federal ministers will step in and exercise the conservation laws to prevent the inevitable extinction of what is listed as (according to the Fed’s own criteria) a protected species.

    The best thing to do is to get this story around the world, for one, by contacting local media and asking them to cover the story (or saying that you want to know more about it). Sign the petition. Follow the first three links at the top of PZ’s entry, you’ll find a bunch of action items linked there.

  6. says

    Not having a good night here. (It is after midnight.) Not only does that Sunwater URL disappear into cyberspace (making an inadvertently ironic comment) but my nick also links to a non-existent address. I’ll try again.

    Sunwater (http://www.sunwater.com.au) has EIS reports for the area. If you’re interested and have the time to go through the pdfs, there may be some useful info about the lungfish. Click on Services at the top, then Burnett Water on the left, followed by documents.

    And if that doesn’t work, I’m all out of ideas.

  7. BruceH says

    Unfortunately, I don’t know a thing about influencing foreign governments’ policies. Would contacting their consulate here in America help?

  8. Silmarillion says

    Perhaps people in Brisbane should speak to their local members of government and let them know it’s an issue they care strongly about.

    You can still get to some reports on the lungfish on the DPI (Department of Primary Industries) website:

    Genetic diversity in Australian lungfish

    Ecology and demography of the Queensland lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri in the Burnett River, Queensland

  9. says

    Phoenix Woman: Well, we can’t expect Howard to do anything based on his own morals. What we can hope for is the conservatives being expedient: Queensland is apparently having an election at the moment, and the current party (the one’s being @$$es about this) are Labour Party. We can hope that it would be politically advantageous for the Tories to make Labour look like corrupt bastards.

  10. G. Tingey says

    Presumably at least one copy of this “shredded” reort still exists somewhere, so all that is needed is for the text to be web-disseminated, together with appropriate comments …..

  11. G. Tingey says

    But, this IS Australia …..

    Australian National Anthem (alternative)

    Our ancestors were criminals
    Sent far across the sea;
    Their recreations alcohol
    And bestiality;
    The perfect Sheila’s four foot tall,
    Flat-headed,with no hair;
    I rest my lager on her head –
    Advance, Australia fair!

    We sodomoise the bandicoot,
    We rape Kaola bear;
    No furry creature’s safe with us –
    Advance, Australia fair!

    Our cultural diversity
    Goes on and never stops:
    We may have killed the Abos, but
    We’ve let in Greeks and Wops;
    We rule not just the swimming-pool,
    Nor yet the cricket-square;
    We top the melanoma leagues –
    Advance, Australia fair!

    We mount the duck-billed platypus,
    Pork-sword Echidnas rare;
    No monotreme stays virginal –
    Advance, Australia fair!

    Our interests intellectual
    Are broad and wide and deep;
    From group projectile vomiting
    To buggering of sheep.
    We’ve urbanised green coastlines, and
    We’ve turned locations rare
    Into a blight of bungaloids –
    Advance, Australia fair!

    We masturbate marsupials,
    Screw dingoes in their lair;
    The native fauna’s safe with us –
    Advance, Australia fair!

  12. Environment First says

    Yeah, let’s save the lungfish by electing a Government (the high Tory Liberal-National coalition) that will allow untrammelled land-clearing by landowners and push many, many environments and species to the brink. But they’ll stop the damn dam!

    Also the G.Tingey comment is racist.

  13. says

    Environment First: This isn’t, in my opinion, about electing a Tory government. It’s about the current federal one in power who has the authority to stop the dam project — irrespective of who is the Queensland Gov’t.

  14. pastor maker says

    nah, environment first…G.Tingey’s comment isn’t racist. It’s just a typical example of British inferiority disguised as smug superiority.

    After all, it’s not like the Brits have any native wildlife left to save…

  15. says

    Hi there,

    The Queensland Greens – the only political party in Queensland to oppose the continued destruction of the last remaining endemic lungfish habitats of the Mary and Burnett rivers – is asking for as many people (esp. scientists) as possible to write to our Premier Beattie (premier@queensland.gov.au) in the last 2 weeks of this campaign.

    Only international shame can pull the plug on this travesty at Traveston, Queensland – we need you all to get active RIGHT NOW and say no to the certain extinction of the world’s oldest fish!

    Please copy all emails to me – aspley@qld.greens.org.au