Australia: Public Consultation Opens on Dudgeon Point Project
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney today invited the public to comment on the draft terms of reference for the proposed $10 billion Dudgeon Point Coal Terminals project in North Queensland.
The North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation and a consortium including Adani Mining and Dudgeon Point Project Management are proposing to build the terminals near the Port of Hay Point, 25 kilometres south of Mackay.
Mr Seeney said the Dudgeon Point Coal Terminals could provide an enormous economic surge to Queensland.
”If approval is granted, Dudgeon Point will become one of the largest ports in the world. It will open-up Mackay to an international coal export market, hauling in billions of dollars for Queensland’s economy,” he said.
“When operating at full capacity, the terminals will more than double the existing scale of the adjacent Hay Point and Dalrymple Bay coal export facilities.
“An increase in coal export capacity will attract significant investment to the area, which means a shot in the arm for the local economy, and significant growth for the Queensland coal export industry.
“If approved, the Dudgeon Point Coal Terminals will provide a boost to local employment, creating up to 1800 jobs over six to eight years during construction and approximately 640 jobs during operation.
“The terminals could play a vital role in the long-term viability of Queensland’s resources sector, and help to cement our standing as one of the world’s largest exporters of coal.”
Coordinator-General Barry Broe said the project was declared a significant project in late 2011 meaning it could potentially impact on a number of environmental values, and would require local, state and federal approval.
“This project has been recognised as a large-scale and complex development which requires an environmental impact statement (EIS) to be prepared,” Mr Broe said.
“The draft terms of reference form the basis of the project’s EIS which will consider the environmental, social, and economic implications of the proposed terminals.
“We are providing an opportunity for the public to comment on whether the draft terms of reference adequately covers all of the matters that must be included in the EIS.
“This phase of the process does not indicate approval or support for the proposal. It means the project will be subject to a rigorous evaluation process that determines whether the environmental impacts are acceptable.”
If approved, the project will involve:
– building two separate terminals, with a combined coal export capacity of up to 180 million tonnes per annum, and associated infrastructure
– constructing six rail loops and train unloading facilities, and a rail connection to the Goonyella rail system with a rail overpass at Hay Point Road
– developing off-shore wharf facilities for up to ten ship berths, with two connecting jetties
– dredging approximately 15 million cubic metres to create berth pockets and a departure apron for ships
– expanding tug facilities to accommodate up to ten more tug and service berths. Mr Broe stressed the importance of community consultation in the environmental assessment process.
“Public consultation is a valued aspect of the assessment process and we strongly encourage the community to view the draft terms of reference on-line or access at local libraries and councils,” Mr Broe said.
Dredging Today Staff, April 19, 2012; Image: nqbp