Key assessments

Abbot Point dredging and on-shore disposal proposals

On 10 December 2013 the capital dredging of Abbot Point Terminals 0, 2 and 3 and offshore disposal of the resulting dredge material in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was approved subject to 41 strict conditions.

Since then, Economic Development Queensland has submitted two additional on-shore disposal proposals for assessment.

These new proposals will align with the Australian Government's commitment to put into legislation a ban on the disposal of capital dredged material in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

The Abbot Point Port and Wetland project and the Abbot Point Dredging and Onshore Placement of Dredged Material project are undergoing full federal environmental assessments using the preliminary documentation approach.

Preliminary documentation is the most commonly used assessment approach under national environmental law. The Department has commenced the assessment by asking the Queensland Government to supplement its original referral with new and more detailed information (see the link below outlining additional information required).

An opportunity for the public to comment on assessment documentation closed on 18 December 2014.

When the proponent has considered all public submissions and finalised its assessment documentation, they will present it to the Minister. He will then carefully consider the assessment documentation, the advice of the Department, and all public comments received before deciding whether the proposals can go ahead.

The Abbot Point Dredging and Onshore Placement of Dredged Material project

  • This project comprises:
    • in one or more campaigns, dredging of approximately 1.7 million cubic metres of seabed
    • disposal of dredge material to a proposed Beneficial Reuse Area
    • management of dredge material within the Beneficial Reuse Area until treatment is complete.

The Abbot Point Port and Wetland project

  • This is the first stage of a broader Abbot Point Port and Wetland Strategy, which aims to support future development of port infrastructure in sympathy with the adjacent Caley Valley Wetlands. In summary, it involves:
    • establishing a Beneficial Reuse Area made up of embanked sedimentation ponds. This would be used to place dredged material before it is reused in the future development of port infrastructure
    • constructing an embankment to support the future expansion of the North Galilee Basin Rail Project
    • measures to promote the long-term health of the adjacent Caley Valley Wetlands, including both physical infrastructure and management arrangements.
  • The placement and treatment of dredge material within the proposed Beneficial Reuse Area would generally be the responsibility of third parties on a project by project basis, and subject to separate regulation under national environmental law.

Links to further information on the status of the proposals