The Abbot Point Growth Gateway Project is one step closer to fruition with it’s final environmental impact statement approved by the Commonwealth Government.
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the decision meant that if one or more of the proposed Galilee Basin coal mine projects go ahead, the port could be developed to allow increased exports.
“The approval is another milestone towards realising the jobs and economic benefits that developing the Galilee Basin could bring to Queensland, while continuing to protect the Great Barrier Reef,” he said.
“As I have said previously, there will be no dredging at the port until Adani demonstrates financial closure.”
The EIS followed the Palaszczuk Government’s move earlier this year to meets its election commitments to protect the nationally-significant Caley Valley wetlands and ban sea dumping of capital dredged material.
Dredge spoil is to be placed on land on the site known as T2, adjacent to the existing coal terminal, not on the Caley Valley wetlands or within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
Dr Lynham said the EIS approved today found that there would be no significant residual impacts on matters of national environmental significance, including the Great Barrier Reef.
The EIS was open for public consultation for four weeks and more than 55, 000 submissions were received.
This is the last Commonwealth approval under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 for the proposed Carmichael coal mine and rail project in the Galilee Basin.
QRC: “An important step in the creation of thousands of jobs”
The news was welcomed by the Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche, who said the approval was an “important step in the creation of thousands of jobs”.
“This environmental approval with strict conditions, which follows on an extensive public consultation process, paves the way for the construction of a second terminal at Abbot Point for exports to a coal-hungry India. The conditions also align with the Reef2050 plan that ensures protection of the iconic Great Barrier Reef,” Mr Roche said.
“Abbot Point is the designated port option for the Galilee Basin projects, and the new coal terminal will service Adani’s Carmichael mine, which is around 400km from the coast.
“The port expansion, from 50mt to 120 mt per year, will create hundreds of jobs during construction, as part of the estimated 5000 construction jobs for the Adani mine, rail and port projects as well as thousands of operational jobs thereafter.”
Mr Roche said the expansion of the Port of Abbot Point is vital if Australia is to become the world’s leading coal exporter by 2020.
“Of course increased exports means higher coal royalties and tax payments which will continue to pay for important services such as police, teachers, doctors and nurses and infrastructure such as roads and hospitals.”