QLD: Abbot Point dredging

On 25 September the Federal Court agreed to adjourn the hearing into the Abbott Point dredging case after the Queensland and Federal governments announced that dredging spoil would be dumped on land instead of on the Great Barrier Reef.

The Mackay Conservation Group (MCG), represented by EDO Qld, is challenging the approval and conditions Federal Environment Minister Hunt placed on the controversial dredging at Abbot Point, in the Federal Court under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth).

EDO Qld, on behalf of MCG, was successful in arguing for adjournment due to the uncertainty created by consideration of land based disposal methods – as this could substantially change the nature of the case. The case will be reviewed on the 27 October.

The original proposal was to dredge 3,000,000 m3 of seabed near Abbot Point, destroying 180 hectares of seagrass and to dump the dredged material approximately 24 km offshore from Abbot Point in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Approval was given by Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt on 10 December 2013.

North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation Limited (NQBP) applied for Minister Hunt’s approval to undertake a program of dredging and dumping near Abbot Point to facilitate development of three new port terminals to increase the capacity to export coal from proposed coal mines in the Galilee Basin. The planned mines, rail infrastructure and coal ports are being developed by mining companies including Adani Enterprises, GVK Hancock, and Waratah Coal.

For more information visit EDO Qld.