On March 28 MCG launched legal action against Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt over his decision to approve the dredging and dumping of dredge spoil for the Abbot Point coal terminal. We had our first day in court on 2nd May, in the Brisbane Federal Court with Judge Dowsett sitting for a 'directions hearing', essentially a chance for all parties to propose timelines.
It seems that the date for the hearing will be in October, and we've also received news that North Queensland Bulk Ports has also joined the action as a co-respondent.
Our first hearing coincided with the latest report from UNESCO on the Great Barrier World Heritage Area, which highlighted their concerns with the decision to allow dumping within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park off Abbot Point. In particular UNESCO have expressed concern regarding the “environmental offset conditions” proposed by the Minister, saying they appeared to be inappropriate. These offsets will be a crucial part of our case, which we highlighted in this story in the Mercury: http://www.dailymercury.com.au/news/dredging-alerts-unesco/2246189/