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Negligence Uncovered: Queensland Hydro's Disregard for Platypus Protection Amid Cyclone Jasper

In a concerning development, Save Eungella has acquired footage showing a Queensland Hydro drilling rig unattended, with runoff from the site flowing directly into known platypus habitats. This incident not only raises serious environmental concerns but also appears to violate Queensland Hydro's own Platypus Management Plan, which mandates stringent measures to protect these vulnerable species. The footage, captured amidst Cyclone Jasper's impact, also reveals Queensland Hydro's lack of preparedness for severe weather conditions, evident from tents left abandoned in the field.

These actions, or lack thereof, starkly contrast the detailed mitigation strategies outlined in the Platypus Management Plan. This plan emphasises erosion and sediment control, careful dewatering strategies, and minimal habitat disruption – all seemingly disregarded in this scenario. The runoff, potentially carrying harmful chemicals, oils, and surfactants, poses a significant threat to the delicate ecosystems supporting the platypus populations.

In a distressing escalation of environmental concerns, Earth Animal - Australia has reported the discovery of an oil-like substance in local waterways, directly impacting habitats crucial for platypuses, fish, turtles, and aquatic plants. This finding near a Queensland Hydro work site raises alarms about potential contamination and ecological harm. Residents are urged to monitor their waterways and report any similar sightings to Earth Animal - Australia.

Oil on the water surface of a pond
Oil on the water surface of a pond

The situation is a glaring example of the disconnect between policy and practice. While Queensland Hydro's management plan ostensibly commits to environmental stewardship and regulatory compliance, the real-world execution of these commitments falls short. The unattended drilling rig and the resultant environmental risks not only breach the specific guidelines of the Platypus Management Plan but also demonstrate a broader attitude of negligence towards environmental conservation.

This incident should serve as a wake-up call for both Queensland Hydro and regulatory authorities. It underscores the need for stricter oversight and enforcement of environmental protection measures, particularly in projects of such scale and impact. The Save Eungella community remains vigilant and committed to holding Queensland Hydro accountable for its actions and ensuring the preservation of our invaluable natural heritage.



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