The port expansion would service proposed coal mines in the Galilee Basin. Acting QRC CEO Greg Lane congratulated the Queensland government on its “balanced approach to development”
“While activists will continue to rail against the development of coal mines, I’m pleased to see that the Queensland government will base its decision on the expansion on science,” he said.
“Like the government we know that you can protect the environment, while providing the resources needed by an energy hungry world.
“Currently 1.3 billion people in the world don’t have access to the benefits of electricity, which we take for granted, and coal will necessarily be part of the energy mix for the foreseeable future.”
Regional communities including Alpha, Clermont, Emerald, Bowen, Moranbah, Mackay, Rockhampton and Townsville are all expected to benefit from development of the so-far untapped resources in the Galilee Basin with thousands of jobs expected to flow during construction and operations, according to the QRC.
Abbot Point, 25km north-west of Bowen, currently has a capacity of 50 million tonnes per annum. The proposed expansion will increase capacity by 70Mtpa to cater for additional coal from the Galilee basin, including Adani Mining’s proposed Carmichael Mine.
Queensland State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said the EIS would take from six to nine months to complete and include 20 business days for public consultation – double the amount provided by the previous government.
“The Palaszczuk government intended for the project to follow due process, including a full EIS, unlike the former government who tried to rush through a project which would have harmed the Caley Valley Wetlands without proper scrutiny,” he said.
“The full cost of the EIS will be paid for by mine proponent, Adani, not taxpayers, under an agreement with the government.”
The EIS will look at all environmental impacts, including detailed investigations into dredging impacts, social and economic impacts, marine ecology and terrestrial ecology (including flora and fauna), and management of cultural heritage with the Juru traditional owners.
The expansion project proposes dredging about 61 hectares of seabed within port limits, outside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
“There’s no question about it, Queensland can have this vital port infrastructure and a vibrant Great Barrier Reef – the findings of the EIS will show us the best way to achieve this,” Lynham said.