Govt delays Abbot Point enviro approval decision until after elections

12th August 2013

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia


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PERTH ( – The federal government has delayed an environmental approval on the expansion of the Abbot Point terminal, in Queensland, until after the elections on September 7.

Environment Minister Mark Butler said he had recently received a number of reports, which could potentially impact on the Abbot Point assessment.

“In order for these matters to be fully considered, I have stopped the clock on my department’s assessment of the Abbot Point capital dredging proposal for a period of three months. This does not prevent a decision being made earlier if I believe I have enough information to make an informed decision,” he said.

The application under review requires that some three-million cubic metres be dredged at Abbot Point and disposed of within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park area.

Butler noted that he was conscious of the balance between the economic benefits and environmental concerns associated with any decision on Abbot Point. He added that the various, significant environmental imperatives must be considered, as does the potential for jobs growth, which was vital for a range of coastal and inland communities.

“Given the significance of the Abbot Point development both in terms of the economic development of the region and the potential environmental impacts on the Great Barrier Reef, I have decided to release these reports for public information,” the Minister said.

The Abbot Point expansion was being developed in lieu of a multicargo facility. The A$9-billion multicargo facility, which would have increased the port’s capacity to 400-million tons a year, was scrapped in May last year.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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