Ab­bot Point en­vi­ron­ment im­pact study cur­rently un­der way

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

THE State Gov­ern­ment has taken an­other step to­wards fi­nal­is­ing the Ab­bot Point ex­pan­sion project with stud­ies for an en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact state­ment be­gin­ning Thurs­day last week.

State Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter An­thony Lyn­ham said the EIS would take six to nine months, with a 20 busi­ness­day public con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod – high­light­ing this was twice the du­ra­tion of­fered by the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment.

“The Palaszczuk gov­ern­ment in­tended for the project to fol­low due process... un­like the for­mer gov­ern­ment who tried to rush through a project which would have harmed the Ca­ley Val­ley Wet­lands with­out proper scru­tiny,” he said.

Queens­land Re­sources Coun­cil act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Greg Lane wel­comed the an- nounce­ment of the EIS.

“While ac­tivists will con­tinue to rail against the devel­op­ment of coal mines, I’m pleased to see that the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment will base its de­ci­sion on the ex­pan­sion on science. Like the gov­ern­ment, we know that you can pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment, while pro­vid­ing the re­sources needed by an en­ergy hun­gry world,” he said.

The state gov­ern­ment claims the ex­pan­sion will cre­ate around 120 jobs over a four month pe­riod.

De­spite op­po­si­tion from en­vi­ron­men­tal groups, Dr Lyn­ham said it was pos­si­ble to have th­ese jobs, the ex­pan­sion and a healthy Great Bar­rier Reef.

“This gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to a bal­anced ap­proach to pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment and de­liv­er­ing vi­tal in­fra­struc­ture,” he said.

“There’s no ques­tion about it, Queens­land can have this vi­tal port in­fra­struc­ture and a vi­brant Great Bar­rier Reef - the find­ings of the EIS will show us the best way to achieve this.”

Dr Lyn­ham also pointed out the EIS would not come out of tax­pay­ers’ pocket.

“The full cost of the EIS will be paid for by mine pro­po­nent Adani, not tax­pay­ers,” he said.

The EIS will in­ves­ti­gate the flow-on ef­fects of the pro­posed dredg­ing of 61ha of seabed, the so­cial and eco­nomic im­pacts of the ex­pan­sion, any pos­si­ble im­pacts on marine and ter­res­trial flora and fauna as well as the man­age­ment of cul­tural her­itage in con­sul­ta­tion with the Juru tra­di­tional own­ers.

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