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Still no place for Abbot Point dredge spoil

By Mark Beale

THE Labor State Government is still considering where to dump dredge spoil from the Abbot Point coal terminal expansion after ruling out the wetlands option.

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has deferred the decision on whether or not to approve the Abbot Point expansion while his department waits to hear how the new Queensland Government wishes to proceed.

State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the Queensland Government was re-assessing “all options” to enable the development to progress.

But he said the government did not support the dumping of dredge spoil into the Caley Valley Wetlands, which is being proposed.

In earlier proposals it was intended for the dredge spoil to be dumped out at sea, within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, but was later changed to the land-based option.However there are still environmental concerns on how this would affect the wetlands.

Dr Lynham said the government was keen to support job-creation developments, especially those which would drive economic development in regional communities.

“The State Labor Government went to the election with a clear policy position saying we do not support dumping dredged material on to the Caley Valley Wetlands, but that we are looking at alternative locations and the beneficial re-use of the dredged material,” he said.

“I intend visiting the port soon to be briefed fully on all the issues.”Dr Lynham also said a judicial review into Mr Hunt’s preliminary assessment decisions for the former project was scheduled for hearing in the Federal Court later this month.

“The State Labor Government is also considering its position in relation to the judicial review,” he said.

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