MORE jobs are one step closer after the Queensland Government lodged the final Environmental Impact Statement with the Commonwealth for dredging and construction works at Abbot Point coal port.
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the final decision on the port's development now lay in the hands of the Commonwealth Government.
"Expansion at Abbot Point is a critical piece of the puzzle for development of the Galilee Basin," Dr Lynham said.
"The expanded port would export coal from Carmichael mine to international markets, creating significant jobs and investment opportunities for Queenslanders.
"This is significant progress for the Galilee Basin proponents and the regional communities looking forward to the job opportunities and economic development this project offers."
Dr Lynham said the port expansion plan agreed with the Galilee Basin proponents and would protect the Great Barrier Reef and the nationally-significant Caley Valley wetlands.
"The EIS findings show that we can expand this vital port while ensuring the Great Barrier Reef and the wetlands are protected," he said.
"This expansion option ensures that no dredging will occur in the Marine Park, no dredged material will be dumped at sea or in the Caley Valley Wetlands and dredged material will be beneficially reused on land."
Today's EIS handover follows the Commonwealth's re-approval of the EIS for the Carmichael mine and associated rail infrastructure earlier this month.
The port EIS process included a 21-business day public consultation phase, in which the project received more than 55,000 submissions.
Dr Lynham said the documents provided to the Commonwealth comprised a 2400-page EIS, plus almost 400 pages of supplementary reports.
"I encourage Queenslanders to find out the facts and take a look at the EIS findings for themselves," he said.
The Queensland Government is also progressing state approvals required for the port development.
The final EIS will be available online shortly here dsd.qld.gov.au/abbotpoint
The Commonwealth Minister for the Environment has 40 business days to review the EIS volumes and decide whether the project should proceed, and if so, under what conditions.
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