The Queensland Labor Party has agreed to support the Newman Government’s proposal to dump dredge material from the proposed expansion of the Port of Abbot Point on land rather than disposing of it off shore
The expansion of Abbot Point port, near Bowen, will be crucial to the financial viability of several coal projects proposed for the Galilee Basin in western Central Queensland. These mines include the Adani’s recently approved $16 billion Carmichael coal mine.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said the Labor Party’s decision marked, “… a crucial step in bipartisan support for protection of the Great Barrier Reef.”
“Today we have the good news that Labor has supported our approach for the Abbot Point Port and Wetland Project, using dredge material beneficially on land rather than disposing of it at sea,” Mr Seeney said.
“This project achieves a win for jobs and a win for the environment.
“Labor planned to dredge 38 million cubic metres of material at Abbot Point Port – more than 12 times the three million cubic metres we have allowed – and to dispose of it in the marine park to create an artificial island for a multi-cargo facility.
“Our plan involves dredging just three million cubic metres and using the material to enhance the existing port land in much the same way as what has occurred at the Port of Brisbane.
“We’re not taking any chances with the Great Barrier Reef, as it’s an international icon that contributes $5.6 billion to our state’s economy and supports 69,000 jobs.”
Mr Seeney said community engagement had begun on the Abbot Point Port and Wetland Project and he invited Labor environment spokeswoman Jackie Trad to be part of the process.
“We have already engaged with conservation groups and indigenous groups on the Abbot Point strategy and all of them see it as the best plan moving forward,” Mr Seeney said.