Australia: Minister Meets to Consider Abbot Point Expansion

The new Federal Environment Minister will today meet with stakeholders of a major multi-billion dollar coal port expansion in north Queensland.

Mark Butler will fly over Abbot Point near Bowen today before meeting with the port operator, environmental groups and fishermen in Townsville.

The visit comes after Mr Butler announced last week he would delay a final decision of the project until August 9.

The minister has been under pressure to visit the region after conservationists and parts of the fishing industry raised alarm about potential impacts to the environment.

“I want to be very clear what the local community’s view is about this project,” Mr Butler said.

“There’s expert advice I’ll also be considering.”

The proposal being considered by the minister includes plans to dredge three million cubic metres of spoil and dump it in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Parts of Bowen’s commercial fishing industry worry this could hurt populations of key fish stock like Spanish mackerel.

However, in April, the port operator, North Queensland Bulk Ports, acknowledged some of these concerns and said it would find a new offshore dump site.

This means the proposal currently being considered by Mr Butler doesn’t specify where the spoil will go.

Mr Butler says he wants to know the full extent of the dredging plans before making a decision.

There’s significant dredging so… it will be important we know what the consequence of that dredging is in terms of where it will be dumped.

“But I don’t want to pre-empt what I’ll be doing.”

If approved, Abbot Point will become one of the world’s largest coal terminals.

Source: greatbarrierreef.org, July 17, 2013

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3rd International Congress Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging

Russia’s leading maritime industry Media Group PortNews (www.portnews.ru) holds a traditional annual Congress “Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging” in Moscow. 

The two-day Congress includes the 7th International Forum of Dredging Companies and the 3rd Technical Conference “Modern Solutions for Hydraulic Engineering”.

Infrastructure development is among the real sources of Russia’s economy growth. Construction of port facilities and new hydraulic engineering structures on the country’s inland waterways constitute an essential part of all infrastructure projects. It is important to take into account the best international practices to implement these projects effectively.

The program of the Congress will be devoted to the latest technologies for dredging and hydraulic engineering works. Speakers and delegates will refer to real projects to discuss specifics features of dredging works, as well as dedicated fleet and equipment involved.

To learn more about event, please, contact the organizing committee: snitko@portnews.ru

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