Hunt fast tracks Abbot Point coal terminal project after pressure from Queensland government
Greg Hunt has today decided that dredging and dumping for the controversial Abbot Point project does not need to go through a full environmental impact assessment.
The Queensland government has a proposal to dredge 1.7 million cubic metres from the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, and dump the spoil into the adjacent Caley Valley wetlands.
‘The Queensland government wants to start dredging for the Abbot Point coal terminal next March and so has pressured Greg Hunt to fast track the process, stating that it can be assessed quickly on ‘preliminary documentation,’ said Co-ordinator of the Mackay Conservation Group, Ellen Roberts.
‘This means that the project will start without an understanding of what the impacts on the Reef and these critical wetlands will be.
‘Given the ongoing concern about Abbot Point from the World Heritage Committee and the community this is extremely disappointing, and surprising, decision from Hunt.’
‘These wetlands are crucial for the ongoing health of the Great Barrier Reef, and important habitat for thousands of migratory birds.
‘The Queensland government is bending over backwards for the interests of foreign mining companies, to the extent they are funding and running this project for Adani and GVK Hancock.
‘The Abbot Point development is in chaos and is being pushed through too quickly.
At a briefing today Queensland government representatives were unable to state how much onshore dumping would cost, even though the Queensland government, and the taxpayer, are funding it.