Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has today announced a new agreement between the Labor Government and major proponents Adani and GVK to put in place an environmentally sustainable and fiscally responsible proposal for the expansion of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal.
Ms Palaszczuk says the agreement reached will see dredge spoil dumped 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.
“I’ve always said I support the responsible and sustainable development of the Galilee Basin and Abbot Point, and the agreement we’ve reached demonstrates that,” says Ms Palaszczuk.
“Today my Government sends a clear message: we can protect the Great Barrier Reef, and we can foster economic development and create jobs.
“I am determined to deliver on my election commitments, and that includes no dumping of capital dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, no dumping of dredge material in the nationally-significant Caley Valley wetlands, and no taxpayer funding for capital dredging and the disposal of dredge spoil.
“The Government will not proceed with the current approvals process. We will withdraw the applications and present a new application centred on the T2 site.
“T2 is the only remaining unallocated industrial land at the Port and the only responsible way to proceed with the Abbot Point development to ensure it is ready for future exports from the Galilee Basin.
“I’d like to thank Adani and GVK for working with us to come up with a sustainable plan that helps us protect the Reef, protect the wetlands and create jobs.”
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham says unlike the previous government’s project, capital dredging costs will not be funded by taxpayers.
“We will ensure that approvals costs will be met by Galilee Basin proponents, with capital dredging costs to be paid for by the proponents to the Galilee Basin projects,” says Dr Lynham.
Dr Lynham said the new project referral under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act would involve a full Environmental Impact Statement process, which also allows for a new round of public consultation.
“The Port of Abbot Point development is vital to Queensland’s economic future. That’s why we are prioritising this project and are dedicated to ensuring it progresses in a transparent and environmentally responsible manner,” he said.
“We will immediately begin work on providing a robust and informed approval referral to the Commonwealth Government and applications to state approval agencies.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to working with local communities and project proponents to deliver good economic and environmental outcomes when it comes to major developments,” he says.
The announcement has been welcomed by Dalrymple MP Shane Knuth, he says this new agreement is encouraging for the region.