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Wed May 29 2024

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Australian port expansion gains environmental approval

11 Oct 12 Australia’s environment minister Tony Burke has approved a major expansion of the Port of Abbot Point in Queensland.

The Alpha Coal expansion will involve a new joint GVK/Hancock Coal coal terminal. It is subject to 60 strict conditions designed to protect the environment. “The conditions I have set manage impacts on listed threatened species, as well as impacts on the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and the marine area,” said Burke. “These conditions will assist us in maintaining our commitment to sustainable development and ensure the outstanding universal values of the Great Barrier Reef are protected.”

Planned measures include development of a seagrass offset package. “Under this seagrass offsets scheme the proponent must work with the Queensland Government to identify opportunities to protect and conserve seagrass, the vital asset that protects threatened species including dolphins, marine turtles and dugongs,” he said. “A heritage management plan will also need to be developed to maximise the ongoing protection and long term conservation of the outstanding universal value of the Great Barrier Reef world heritage property.

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