New multi cargo facility planned for Abbot Point

Queensland Government announces beginning of environmental investigations into proposed $1.25b Abbot Point harbour development

October 8, 2009

The Queensland Government today announced the beginning of environmental investigations into a proposed $1.25 billion Abbot Point harbour development for North Queensland.

Premier Anna Bligh says the project means Abbot Point could become an industrial powerhouse capable of rivalling Gladstone.

"Abbot Point is a key part of the State Government's long-term plans for industrial development and regional employment in Queensland," she says.

"A major step towards new jobs and economic prosperity at Abbot Point is a shipping facility capable of handling different cargoes from large vessels.

"North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation proposes to develop a new protected harbour on around 320 hectares of reclaimed land that will be able to handle a number of different exports or shiploads of raw materials for mineral processing.

"The Corporation's Abbot Point Multi Cargo Facility (MCF) Project includes 12 shipping berths, a tug harbour and a dredged ac cess channel, swing basin and berth pockets.

"Under the proposal, all dredged material from construction, approximately 25 million cubic metres, will become reclaimed land so it does not have to be disposed out to sea."

The Premier says Coordinator-General Colin Jensen has declared the Abbot Point Multi Cargo Facility Project a significant project for which a State Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is not required.

Jensen says a significant project declaration without a Queensland Government EIS is an alternative when other legislation is in place.

"Just like every other significant project this project will require careful consideration of its potential impacts," he says.

"However, I am satisfied the project can be stringently assessed as environmental and development approvals are sought under existing State laws.

"The Commonwealth Government is also conducting a full EIS of its own.

"Commonwealth approval on matters of national environmental significance would be required before any construction could begin.

"There will be opportunities for public comment when the Commonwealth Government begins its investigations in coming months."

Bligh says the multi-cargo facility and Abbot Point State Development Area will underpin new trade for Queensland and create economic growth.

"This Government will do all it can to find new industries for Queensland and this site's harbour and remoteness from residential development provides a real opportunity for the future," she says.

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