Senate debates

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


Abbot Point

4:03 pm

Photo of Larissa WatersLarissa Waters (Queensland, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) meeting notes and draft decision documents released under Freedom of Information in regard to the Abbot Point Coal Terminal Capital Dredging Project have revealed That the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA):

  (A) believed the Abbot Point dredging proposal in the form proposed at that time should be refused a Great Barrier Reef Marine Park permit for offshore dumping of dredge spoil,

  (B) found offshore dumping of up to 1.6 million cubic metres per year for three separate dredging campaigns has the potential to cause long term, irreversible harm to areas of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, in particular seagrass meadows and nearby coral reefs of Camp Reef, Horseshoe Bay, Cape Upstart, and Holbourne Island,

  (C) considered the North Queensland Bulk Ports dredge plume modelling for the offshore dumping to be of limited value, deficient and unreliable,

  (D) considered that remnant and recovering seagrass meadows, such as those around Abbot Point, provide critical foraging refugia for struggling turtle and dugong populations,

  (E) found the project could result in water quality in the region being in a degraded state for approximately the next 6 to 7 years, and

  (F) clearly advised Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities officials in June 2013 that GBRMPA did not consider it practical or feasible to develop environmental offsets of the magnitude required to offset the damage caused to the reef by the proposed dredging and offshore dumping at Abbot Point, and That the project approval as proposed would involve conditions which are effectively unachievable, and

(ii) there do not appear to have been changes made to the proposed Abbot Point Coal Terminal Capital Dredging Project since these concerns were raised by GBRMPA officials that would address these concerns; and

(b) calls on the Minister for the Environment (Mr Hunt) to immediately revoke his approval of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal Capital Dredging Project.


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