Australia: Supplementary Report Available for Abbot Point Dredging

North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) has finalised the Public Environment Report (PER) Supplementary Report for the Port of Abbot Point capital dredging project (iEPBC Reference Number 2011/6213).

The Supplementary Report has recently been lodged with the Commonwealth Department of Sustainability: Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC) in accordance with Section 99 of the EPBC Act.

NQBP’s CEO, Brad Fish, said the report addresses the 103 submissions which were received during the public consultation period and provides evidence-based rationale for offshore relocation of the three million cubic metres of sediment within a revised relocation zone.

Based on extensive consultation with the local fishers, tourism groups and the community, a revised offshore relocation zone has been identified moving further from fisheries, Holbourne Island and the WWII Catalina Wreck site. The revised zone is not recognised as a notable or significant biodiversity site and it does not contain any valuable natural heritage attributes.

“Approval of a zone rather than a specific site will allow scope for optimal site selection. It will also allow the proponents to advance projects with confidence that a good environmental outcome will be reached.

“NQBP is committed to keeping the community informed in selecting a new relocation site within the selected zone, which will involve facilitation of community participation through an extended Technical Advisory Consultative Committee (TACC) and undertaking additional environmental studies to ensure the suitability of the site.

“This process will identify issues to ensure that the best overall outcome is achieved within the nominated zone.

“It is important to note that it is unlikely that the dredging would be carried out in a single dredge campaign. Rather it will occur across several smaller dredge campaigns to facilitate progress of terminal development over five or more years by 2020.

“NQBP is confident in our ability to successfully carry out necessary dredging required for the Port of Abbot Point developments based on an impeccable track record and extensive monitoring of past dredging project outcomes”, Mr Fish said.

In accordance with Commonwealth and State legislative requirements, all NQBP dredging projects undergo rigorous environmental assessment of potential impacts. Approvals for the dredging project have not yet been obtained.

Press Release, May 20, 2013

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