Abbot Point coal export terminal expansion
February 2013: The period for public comment on the draft Public Environment Report (PER) for the proposed coal export terminal expansion at Abbot Point closed on 15 February 2013. Capital dredging of six new berth pockets and ship apron as part of the Terminal 0, Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 is being proposed. Public comments are being incorporated and the final PER is being prepared.
About the Proposal
North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation is the port authority responsible for managing the Port of Abbot Point, located north of Bowen in Central Queensland. As part of the development of Terminal 0, Terminal 2 and Terminal 3, capital dredging of six new berth pockets and ship apron areas is required. Dredging of approximately 3,000,000 cubic metres of previously undisturbed seabed and disposal of the dredge material to an offshore disposal area is proposed.
About the Area
Abbot Point is located approximately 25 kilometres north of Bowen on the Central Queensland Coast.
The area to be dredged is located approximately three kilometres offshore of Abbot Point and is wholly contained within existing Port limits of Abbot Point.
The project footprint is located within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Ocean disposal of dredged material is proposed to occur inside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (Marine Park).
The Application Requirements
On 6 January 2012, the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), determined the proposed Abbot Point Terminal 0, Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 capital dredging to be a controlled action as it was recognised that the project could have an impact on a number of matters of national environmental significance.
Application for a Marine Parks Permission
The proposed action will require a permit under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975, as components of the development are proposed to be located in the Marine Park. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) will assess the application, in accordance with the following legislation:
- Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975
- Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983
- Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning Plan 2003
GBRMPA will also provide advice to DSEWPaC on matters of national environmental significance under the EPBC Act.
Public Environment Report assessment process
North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation has prepared a Public Environment Report (PER) which describes the potential impact that the project could have on the environment.
The period of public consultation on the draft Public Environment Report for this project has closed and the final PER is being prepared.
Any activity that may impact the Marine Park will be assessed by GBRMPA. Consideration of the application will be in accordance with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983, noting:
- Mandatory considerations (Regulation 88Q): This includes, among others, the impact of the proposed action on the environment, social, cultural and heritage values of the Marine Park, written comments received about the application in response to the public advertisement, and other matters relevant to the orderly and proper management of the Marine Park.
- Discretionary considerations (Regulation 88R): This includes the impact the proposed action will have on the public appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of the Marine Park, the cumulative impacts (if any) of the proposed action.
GBRMPA will consider the impacts of the proposal on all aspects of the Marine Park, including matters raised in public submissions.
The proposal will be assessed in accordance with the GBRMPA policies and management approaches including:
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