Waratah Coal export facility
April 2012: Draft guidelines for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Waratah Coal coal export facility as part of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal Project have been prepared. The period of public consultation on the draft EIS guidelines has closed and public comments are being incorporated into the final EIS guidelines.
About the proposal
Waratah Coal Pty Ltd proposes to construct a new coal export facility for the export of up to 240 million tonnes of coal per year, at the Port of Abbot Point. The terminal expansion will comprise various onshore and offshore infrastructure components.
The main components of the proposed development include:
- New rail infrastructure
- Coal stockyards
- Outloading conveyors
- Jetty with eight berths
- Wharf arrangement
- Operation of the coal terminal
- Other ancillary buildings and infrastructure to support the construction
- Dredging of an entrance channel, swing basin and the berth pockets.
About the area
Abbot Point is located approximately 25 km north of Bowen on the central Queensland coast. The Port is wholly contained within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area with the Port limits overlapping with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (Marine Park). The existing berth facilities are located approximately 2.8 km offshore, and the area surrounding the offshore jetty and berth excluded from the Marine Park.
The application requirements
The proposal by Waratah Coal Pty Ltd was determined to be a controlled action by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC) under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) on 13 February 2012, as it was recognised that the project could have a significant 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. Therefore, 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
The GBRMPA will also provide advice to DSEWPaC on matters of national environmental significance under the EPBC Act.
Environmental Impact Statement assessment process
Waratah Coal Pty Ltd will be required to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which describes the potential impact that the project could have on the environment.
The period of public consultation on the draft guidelines for the preparation of the EIS for this project has closed. Public comments are currently being incorporated into the final EIS guidelines.
View the draft EIS guidelines.
Any activity that may impact the Marine Park, will be assessed by the GBRMPA.
Consideration of the application will be in accordance with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983, noting:
- Mandatory considerations (Regulation 88Q): which includes amongst 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): which 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.
The 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:
- Environmental Impact Management Policy
- Structures Policy
- Dredging and Spoil Disposal Policy
- Environmental Assessment and Management- Risk Matrix Framework 2009
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