The Queensland government wants to dredge 1.7 million cubic metres from the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and then dump this material into settling ponds in the Caley Valley wetlands, wiping out habitat for endangered and migratory birds and risking sediment running back into the Reef.
If you have two minutes, please make a submission to Greg Hunt: https://caleyvalley.good.do/stop-fast-tracking-abbot-point-dredging-and-dumping/send-in-a-submission-to-protect-the-reef-wetlands/
In response to news last week that the Queensland government would be forking out hundreds of millions of dollars for Adani's rail project to connect controversial mines in the Galilee Basin with the Abbot Point coal terminal, on 27 November we launched #noadanihandouts, a photo petition to the Queensland government about all the things you'd rather see instead of handouts to massive mining companies.
We’re organising an action and information evening about the Caley Valley wetlands to coincide with our next volunteer meeting. We’ve got great ideas about how you can make a creative submission so please come along!
What: Abbot Point action and information evening
When: 5:30pm, Thursday 27th November
Where: Environment Centre, 156 Wood Street
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.
As you may have seen in the news, last Friday Jeff Seeney made a formal request to the Federal government for approval to dump dredge spoil on land. This comes after weeks of media speculation and an adjournment to our case until the onshore dumping is resolved.
Patricia Julien and Mackay Conservation Group have been working on the issue of the Caley Valley wetlands for many years now. See for example this story in 2012, when Patricia and Tub Wilson raised concerns about what coal port expansion would mean for the wetlands.
Pictured below: Patricia being interviewed at the wetlands in 2012, and right a pair of painted snipes
Legal case against Abbot Point dumping will continue
Rumours are circulating that the companies wanting to build Abbot Point coal terminals will propose a land based dumping option to address concerns about the impact of dumping dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
In March this year MCG launched legal action against the Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s decision to approve dredging and dumping for the proposed Abbot Point coal terminal expansion.
‘We would need to see any alternative proposal to determine how far it goes towards addressing all our concerns and whether it affects the current Federal Court case.Read more
The Federal government’s decision today to approve Adani’s Carmichael coal mega mine in Western Queensland is blind to the devastation it will cause to water, habitat and the local environment says Mackay Conservation Group.
‘Carmichael will be one of the world’s biggest coal mines and the environmental impacts of the mine as well as associated infrastructure, such as ports and rail, are simply unacceptable,’ said Mackay Conservation Group Co-ordinator Ellen Roberts.
‘The mine will use 12 billion litres of water every year. This water will be pumped from underground sources which are vital to maintaining agriculture and wildlife in this dry environment. There will be drops to the water table ten kilometres from the mine.’
‘The conditions placed on the mine relate to further studies on impact on groundwater and species, which raises concerns that Greg Hunt did not adequately understand the impacts of this mine before making the approval.’
On Thursday 12 December there was a strong showing from Mackay locals at a protest we organised at the North Queensland Bulk Ports office in Wellington Street, Mackay against the approval of the dredging and terminal construction at Abbot Point, near Bowen.
In an event described by the Daily Mercury as 'dramatic' we threw dredge spoil over some of local marine creatures: dugongs, reef fish and sea turtles. All of these animals will have their habitat affected by the proposed 3 million cubic metre dredging project.
The photo above was taken by ABC Tropical North, and the full story can be seen at their website: http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2013/12/11/3909708.htm
For more information about the Abbot Point coal port expansion: http://www.mackayconservationgroup.org.au/abbot_point_a_disaster_in_the_making
As Queensland prepares to build the largest coal ports in the world on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area, few protections are in place to prevent the destruction of fish, coral and iconic marine mammals.
Green and Flatback turtles nest along the beautiful Abbot Point Beach just east of the sand dunes containing the Juru burial grounds which themselves would adjoin the enormous coal stockpiles.
As the coal dust blows off the stockpiles and rain leaches toxic chemicals into the near shore marine waters, the turtles will ingest this pollution via consumption of the local sea grasses.Read more
If coal miners and coal port owners get their way, 16 million cubic metres (~4535 million tonnes) of the seabed at Abbot Point in Queensland will be dredged and dumped into the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
The proposed dredging is to allow the expansion of the Abbot Point Coal Port near Bowen in Queensland.
The mud to be dredged is enough to fill the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) 30 times over.Read more