Delay to Dredging Decision for Abbot Point (Australia)
Environment Minister Mark Butler’s decision to defer his consideration of the dredging application for Abbot Point Coal Terminal comes as no real surprise, Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche said.
‘It was always going to be difficult for him to make a calm and reasoned decision in the hothouse political environment of an election campaign.
‘We look forward to the incoming Environment Minister making a decision on this important project shortly after being sworn in.
‘Environmental extremists have run a very deceitful campaign against this proposal, because they know that if they can block dredging they can block the port expansion, and if they can block the port expansion they can block new mines that need that port capacity.
‘Their campaign is all part of the bigger campaign to shut down the coal industry,’ he said.
The facts about this dredging proposal are:
– This is a small scale dredging program that will be executed in stages lasting just a few weeks each, as needed, over several years;
– Contrary to the extremists’ campaign rhetoric, this approval will not of itself lead to a ‘mega-port’. Instead there will be incremental development and incremental dredging, only as mines are given the go-ahead;
– The nearest part of the Great Barrier Reef is 40 km away from the port, which is not actually in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park;
– There will be no coral reef or seagrass areas dredged.
Press Release, August 12, 2013