In January this year, MCG launched a legal challenge to Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s approval of the Carmichael coal mine. We said that Greg Hunt ignored the contribution of the mine to increased greenhouse gasses and climate change.
Last week we added a further ground to our challenge. Reading over the documents from the case, it was clear that Greg Hunt had chosen to ignore Adani’s poor environmental record in India, even though he knew that Adani had recently been found guilty of violating India’s environment laws in connection with their development at the Mundra Port.
Getup! travelled to India to talk to people who are living with the environmental devastation at Adani’s Indian port, click below to watch the video.Read more
On 11 March the new government announced their new proposal for the Abbot Point expansion, which shifted dredge spoil from the Caley Valley wetlands to a site immediately adjacent on the former site of terminal 2.
The series of new proposals at Abbot Point are the result of community, scientific and international concern about the compatibility of expanding coal export infrastructure at a time when the health of the Great Barrier Reef is in serious decline.
No-one wants to see increased sediment in the wetlands and the Reef as a result of the new proposal. The new development at Abbot Point was discussed at our last volunteer meeting and the views of the MCG volunteers on the new proposal are summarised at our website. Comments welcome.
The following summarises a discussion at a Mackay Conservation Group volunteers meeting on Thursday 19 March. Please leave any comments below:
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.
The State government proposal to dump dredge spoil from Abbot Point onshore must undergo a full environmental impact assessment under the EPBC Act. Despite claims to the contrary, the area and the proposed action have not been considered in previous assessments relating to Abbot Point.
The area in which it is proposed to dump the spoil is part of a wetland of national importance and home to significant populations of listed species. It is also a fish nursery area and a filter for the GBR World Heritage Area.
While the move to avoid offshore dumping is good, we must not just see damage being transferred from one area to another.
The area in question is important to Australia for a number of reasons and it is essential that comprehensive and rigorous, open and transparent assessment is carried out.
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
Mackay Conservation Group have been successful in seeking an adjournment in the trial set for the end of October. Time was sought to allow North Queensland Bulk Ports to provide details of suggested plans to switch to an alternate onshore dumping of dredging materials rather than dumping of dredged materials in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
Pictured are our lawyers Saul Holt SC (right), and Michael Berkman and Revel Pointon from the Environment Defenders Office.
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