The Abbot Point coal port project has taken a leap forward with the release of its draft Environmental Impact Statement.
The construction project will create 120 new jobs over a period of four months, after which port employment will consist of flow-on supply chain roles, and is critical in opening up the Galilee Basin.
It is slated to increase port capacity by 70 million tonnes per annum to cater for additional coal from the Galilee Basin, achieving a total capacity of 120 million tonnes per annum.
State development and mining minister Anthony Lynham yesterday announced the release, adding it was open to public comment until 18 September.
“This is a milestone for the sustainable development of the Galilee Basin and the jobs and economic development it could deliver for Queenslanders,”Lynham said.
“We’ve delivered on our election commitment to protect the Great Barrier Reef and the nationally-significant Caley Valley Wetlands.
“We are putting dredged material on port land next to the existing terminal, and we are minimising impacts to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area by ruling out at-sea disposal.
“The community can now have its say on the draft EIS with around 2400 pages of detailed investigatory information and almost 150 commitments to protect the environment.”
The port’s expansion will be funded by Galilee Basin developers, and no taxpayers, he added.
“The Queensland Government will deliver a robust final EIS, which will include feedback from consultation, to the Commonwealth Government in early October,” Lynham said.
“It’s then up to the Commonwealth Government, which has 40 business days to assess the EIS and deliver a final decision on the project.
“Work will only begin when environmental approvals have been received.