Ab­bot Point de­ci­sion de­layed

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

FED­ERAL En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Mark But­ler has de­layed a de­ci­sion on the ex­pan­sion and dredg­ing of the Ab­bot Point coal ter­mi­nal for three more months.

Mr But­ler said a num­ber of re­ports had only just been de­liv­ered to him, which would po­ten­tially im­pact on the as­sess­ment.

"[But] this does not pre- vent a de­ci­sion be­ing made ear­lier if I be­lieve I have enough in­for­ma­tion to make an in­formed de­ci­sion," he said.

If ap­proved, the dredg­ing would clear the way for the de­vel­op­ment of the world's largest coal port at Ab­bot Point, less than 50km from the Whit­sun­day is­lands.

The Fight for the Reef cam­paign be­lieves ap­proval of the pro­posal would be dis­as­trous for the Great Bar­rier Reef, send­ing the nat­u­ral icon a step fur­ther down the path to­wards be­ing placed on an in­ter­na­tional World Her­itage list of shame.

Ab­bot Point Ac­tion Group spokesper­son (APAG) Maria Mac­don­ald, who spoke at last week’s Fight for the Reef event at the Whit­sun­day PCYC, said APAG was pleased with the ex­ten­sion of time.

"We will con­tinue work­ing to in­form our com­mu­nity with the facts and science. The newly re­leased study on dredg­ing shows the im­pacts to be far worse than pre­vi­ously mo- delled and the pub­lic needs to be­come in­formed," she said.

Mean­while, politi­cians re­main di­vided. Al­though the de­ci­sion was wel­comed by Greens can­di­date for Daw­son Jonathon Dykyj, La­bor can­di­date Bron­wyn Taha and LNP mem­ber Ge­orge Chris­tensen have ex­pressed con­cerns.

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