The new Queensland government has stopped the approvals process for the expansion of Abbot Point Coal Terminal, banning Adani and GVK from dumping dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced today that a new agreement between the Labor Government and major proponents Adani and GVK would see dredge spoil dumped on land on the site known as T2, adjacent to the existing coal terminal, not on the Caley Valley wetlands or within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
The government will not proceed with the current approvals process, withdrawing all the applications.
“I’ve always said I support the responsible and sustainable development of the Galilee Basin and Abbot Point, and the agreement we’ve reached demonstrates that,” Palaszczuk said.
“T2 is the only remaining unallocated industrial land at the Port and the only responsible way to proceed with the Abbot Point development to ensure it is ready for future exports from the Galilee Basin.
“I’d like to thank Adani and GVK for working with us to come up with a sustainable plan that helps us protect the Reef, protect the wetlands and create jobs.”
Offshore dumping was already approved by Environment minister Greg Hunt but proponents of the expansion to the Abbott Point coal loading facility abandoned plans to dump dredge spoils in the Great Barrier Reef last September following a massive public backlash.
Hunt will also have to approve any plan to dump dredge spoil onshore, and extended the deadline for this decision until April 30, 2015.
Adani CEO and Country Head, Jeyakumar Janakaraj welcomed the QLD Government’s decision.
"I welcome today's announcement because it demonstrates the priority the government has placed from the outset on ensuring economic development proceeds in Queensland subject to robust environmental standards", Janakaraj said.
The expansion of the port is essential for the development of Adani’s massive Carmichael coal project in the untapped Galilee Basin.
The project will include the construction of the mine, a 189 kilometre rail line, water supply infrastructure, a workers' accommodation village and airport.
It is expected to create 2,500 jobs during construction and 3,900 permanent jobs when operation begins.
GVK Hancock is looking to develop the Alpha Coal Project in the region.