DREDGING material from the Abbot Point coal port expansion in Queensland will be dumped on land rather than in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park under a state government plan designed to ease environmental concerns.
North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) already has Federal Government approval to dump 3 million cubic metres of spoil from the controversial expansion project at sea, however the Queensland Government will push the company towards taking the new land dumping option.
The Adani Group and GVK Hancock-led port expansion is a vital stage in development of coal in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said the onshore dumping strategy, approved by State Cabinet earlier this month, was a win-win situation.
“It will protect the unique values of the Great Barrier Reef and allow for the staged development of the important port of Abbot Point,” he said.
“Our government made it a priority to develop the resource-rich Galilee Basin to create up to 28,000 jobs and economic opportunities for a new generation of Queenslanders.”
Deputy Premier and State Development and Planning minister Jeff Seeney said the government would ask Federal Environment minister Greg Hunt to fast-track approval of the strategy.
“The dredge material is likely to be deposited at an existing site within the Abbot Point State Development Area to enhance port development, in the same way that expansions are successfully occurring at the Port of Brisbane,” he said.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said the new option would address community and tourism
industry concerns about disposing dredge material in the marine park.