The state government’s draft Ports Strategy showed the hallmarks of an ecologically sustainable approach to future development, the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) said today.
Commenting on the release by Deputy Premier and State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Jeff Seeney, QRC acting Chief Executive Greg Lane said the strategy’s focus on developing the capacity of established trading ports recognised the export sector’s proud record of working alongside the Great Barrier Reef for almost 40 years.
‘As acknowledged by UNESCO in 1981, the presence of major industrial ports within a World Heritage-listed property is neither unique nor mutually exclusive,’ Mr Lane said.
‘The incremental expansion of the Ports of Mackay/Hay Point, Gladstone, Townsville and Abbot Point has been fundamental to Queensland’s economic and social progress over more than a century.
‘Their continuing operation under the scrutiny of state, federal and international environmental agencies is fundamental to Queensland’s global trade in coal, metals, gas, sugar and grain.
‘Almost one million Queenslanders living between Bundaberg and Cape York also rely on our working ports for essential imports of oil, general cargo and tourist shipping.’
Exports through ports adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef were worth $40 billion in 2011-12, representing 78 percent of Queensland’s total export volume.
‘UNESCO should be in no doubt over the commitment of the Queensland Government and industry to deliver the twin goals of economic growth and environmental protection.
‘In this day and age, we don’t have to sacrifice one for the other, as the last 38 years of productive co-existence have demonstrated.’
Press Release, October 17, 2013