In a reprieve for the environment, the climate and the Great Barrier Reef, the Queensland Government has decided that the massive coal export facility expansion, planned to make Abbot Point the largest coal port in the world, is deeply flawed and unviable.
The six extra terminals for the Abbot Point facility will now be slashed, but there remains the possibility of a multitude of smaller coal and gas ports proceeding instead, thereby avoiding scrutiny from cumulative impacts and possibly triggering fewer environmental laws.
“The Abbot Point decision is a stay of execution for the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef, at a time when the mass public outcry has shown all these planned port expansions to be deeply unpopular,” Australian Greens environment spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters said.
“The Queensland Government has now admitted that the frenzied rush to back the mining boom in Australia is ill-considered and economically foolish, which is what the Greens have been saying all along.
“It's clear from Mr Seeney's comments that the slow down in the global coal market is one of the major reasons contributing to this decision, and we need to recognise that investing in coal and coal seam gas is a dead end when the rest of the world is trying to transition to clean energies.
“The Greens will be watching coal and gas port developments in Queensland very closely, to ensure that any smaller port developments in place of the Abbot Point expansion will be properly assessed for their cumulative impacts on the Reef and the environment.
“Instead of short-term and economically unsound fossil fuel export developments, we need to invest in the survival of the Great Barrier Reef as a World Heritage icon and global tourism destination, so the Reef can continue to support sustainable tourism into the future.
“The Queensland and Australian Governments should use this opportunity to ditch their 'coal at all costs' strategy to sacrifice the Reef, and stop the mass dredging and off-shore dumping of millions of cubic metres in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.”
Media Contact: Adam Stone 0419 626 725