Dredge debate resolved at last
A NEW agreement announced yesterday between the State Government and Abbot Point coal terminal proponents Adani and GVK Hancock will see dredge spoil dumped on land within the coal port’s T2 site and not on the Caley Valley wetlands or at sea.
State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the new agreement would ensure an “environmentally sustainable and fiscally responsible proposal for the expansion of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal.”
The onshore dredge disposal option will ensure Adani's plan for delivering 10,000 jobs and $22 billion in taxes and royalties proceeds in line with previously advised timelines.
Adani CEO and Country Head, Jeyakumar Janakaraj, said yesterday’s announcement in Townsville by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham showed the strong emphasis the state government had placed early in its term on securing jobs for the state.
"I welcome today's announcement because it demonstrates the priority the government has placed from the outset on ensuring economic development proceeds in Queensland subject to robust environmental standards", Mr Janakaraj said.
The Queensland Resources Council also welcomed the agreement, with QRC Chief Executive Michael Roche applauding the state government’s “decisive action.”
However, Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen said the agreement was too little, too late.
Mr Christensen said the job-creating Abbot Point project near Bowen would be delayed another year because the change in location would trigger another application and decision process.
“The simple solution was to approve the current application and we could have seen jobs created as early as next week,” he said.
IN LIMBO: The deadline for the decision on whether or not the Abbot Point expansion will go ahead has been extended until April 30.