Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said the Abbot Point Port and Wetland Strategy was a critical component in the government’s plan to open up Galilee Basin mining projects and create tens of thousands of new Queensland jobs.
“We believe this project strikes the right balance for Queenslanders who want to see the Great Barrier Reef protected but understand the important role that ports play in supporting our resources industry and the jobs it provides,” Mr Seeney said.
“The Port of Abbot Point will be the gateway for Queensland coal to be exported to the world and this strategy will allow necessary dredging to take place and offer an option for that material to be beneficially re-used on land instead of being dumped at sea.
Mr Seeney said his Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning had been engaging with the community about the project since its release in early September and comprehensive Abbot Point Port and Wetland Project plans have been available online since 3 October.
“Now we enter a formal period of public consultation as required by the Commonwealth as part of its assessment and approvals process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999,” Mr Seeney said.
“The preliminary work undertaken during the past couple of months has confirmed that we will be able to reduce the amount of dredged material to 1.7 million cubic metres – rather than three million cubic metres – all of which will be placed onshore and re-used to support future port expansion.
“We have also confirmed that less than five percent of nearby wetlands will be affected by this strategy, and we have committed to a detailed offset strategy which will deliver a net gain for the environment.”
In accordance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 interested persons and organisations can comment on the documentation from 4 to 18 December 2014. For more information visit www.environment.gov.au/