Common sense at last: Macdonald

Queensland LNP Senator Ian Macdonald has welcomed the Environment Minister Greg Hunts announcement of approval for the expansion of port facilities at Abbott Point.

After rigorous assessment the Government has approved:

The capital dredging program for the proposed Terminals 0, 2 and 3 at the Port of Abbot Point

    • The Adani T0 project at Abbot Point

Finally common sense has prevailed, said Senator Macdonald.

Project proponents North Queensland Bulk Ports, Adani and GVK-Hancock, along with local business and community groups, will work to develop the Bowen area.

There will be opportunities for local businesses and contractors to become part of the supply chain, he said.

I am excited by the potential for development in the Bowen region.

This decision is great for jobs in Bowen, great for economic prosperity, great for the people of North Queensland.

The construction phase of the project will employ around 300 people, with a further 450 being indirectly employed.

And as I have been saying all along, there is no danger posed by this development to the Great Barrier Reef, said the Senator.

These projects are for existing developed port and industrial sites and have been approved by the Environment Minister subject to the highest environmental standards and conditions.

Some of the strictest conditions in Australian history have been placed on these projects to ensure that any impacts are avoided, mitigated or offset, Senator Macdonald said.

Some of these conditions include:

150 per cent net benefit requirement for water quality. The result will be a long-term net reduction of fine sediments entering the Marine Park from land-based sources, well beyond the life of the projects;

    • Approximately $89m will be contributed to support the health of the Great Barrier Reef through programs such as the Reef Trust;
    • 95 separate environmental conditions for Abbot Point; and,
    • Measures for protection of marine species and their habitat, ecological communities, flora and fauna.

Satisfaction of these conditions may take time but this is a balanced decision that addresses conservation values while at the same time fostering economic growth for the region, Senator Macdonald said.

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