OPINIONS remain divided about the State Government’s decision not to dump dredge spoil from the Port of Abbot Point on the Caley Valley Wetlands.
Whitsunday Residents Against Dumping (WRAD) have welcomed the announcement but are concerned the new site will still threaten the outstanding values of the area.
These views are echoed by Greenpeace and the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) who say the new plan to expand the Abbot Point coal port by dumping the dredge spoil on the site known as T2, is still unacceptable.
Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen has another view.
Mr Christensen says thousands of jobs have now ‘gone begging’ because the newly formed Queensland Government “fell for a duck pond decoy laid by the extreme greens”.
“The area the extreme greens pretended to care about was actually a dry flat plain until two gun clubs got together in the 1950s to divert a watercourse and create a pond where they could shoot ducks,” he said.
Mr Christensen said his claims were supported by a GHD report and anecdotal evidence from the mayor of the Burdekin Shire, Cr Bill Lowis.
He also pointed to social media posts created by “anti-Abbot Point activist group Fight for the Reef”, asking for donations to “help protect the reef’s Caley Valley Wetlands”.
“The last time I checked, the reef was a long boat ride off the coast of Abbot Point but I know the activists would claim Uluru was a part of the reef if they thought it would shut down mining in Australia,” he said.
“Labor fell for it hook, line, and sinker and moved the disposal site a stone’s throw to the left, putting thousands of jobs back on the shelf for another year.
“We can see it was all a decoy from the greens to delay the project further because they are now continuing attacks on Abbot Point in an attempt to kill jobs and shut down mining.”
Meanwhile North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) say they look forward to working with the Palaszczuk Government in delivering a well-managed dredging program to support increased trade through Abbot Point.
“NQBP has completed a number of environmental and engineering studies on this site, which show that the T2 site and adjacent port areas can manage the dredge material from the T3 and T0 projects with minimal and limited impact on the environment and on the existing projects,” a spokesperson said.