The federal government has ticked off on the environmental impact statement for the proposed Abbot Point expansion.Queensland will impose “a lot of strict environmental conditions on the Abbot Point port expansion”, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said, while the Greens condemned the plan.
Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt approved the final environmental impact statement for the Abbott Point Growth Gateway project on Tuesday, which brings Adani one step closer to its Galilee Mine project.
Greens Senator Larissa Waters said the approval was “bad news for our reef, jobs and the climate”, given it allows the dredging of 1.1 million cubic metres of the sea floor to expand the port, with the material to be used to build up new terminals.
But the Queensland Government said no dredging would begin until Adani showed it had the finance to get its coal mine project, billed as the largest in Australia, off the ground.
Ms Palaszczuk said the government would not be providing financial assistance.
“Once again, I have made it very clear that this is a private company and the private company Adani must get the finance independently if they are going to go ahead,” she said.
“There will be no taxpayers’ money going towards this project.
“We also know that we need to have a good combination of renewables going into the future. We will be clearly focusing on this over the next two years.”
Ms Palaszczuk said she believed if the project did go ahead, the reef would be protected, but the government also had to balance the need for jobs.
“There will be absolutely safeguards to protect the reef. In fact, it was my government that made it very clear that there would be no dumping of dredge spoil on the Great Barrier Reef,” she said.
“We must protect our iconic Great Barrier Reef.
“They must have the finances for it to go forward. I know from travelling just last week to Mackay how important the jobs are to our central and northern regions of Queensland.
“The jobs are fundamentally important but this project must stack up financially to proceed and that is a matter for the company.
“The state government will be attaching a lot of strict environmental conditions and that is a matter that the state environment department is currently assessing at the moment.”
Outside of finance, Adani is still facing court challenges over the Carmichael Mine project.
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