Dredge de­bate re­solved at last

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

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.

Photo Con­trib­uted

IN LIMBO: The dead­line for the de­ci­sion on whether or not the Ab­bot Point ex­pan­sion will go ahead has been ex­tended un­til April 30.

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