Abbot Point
Abbot Point Contributed

Ports bill unpopular with environmentalists and QRC

THE resources sector and conservationists have both condemned environmental legislation, but for different reasons.

The Mackay Conservation Council said the Queensland Government's ports bill introduced to parliament on Wednesday lacked a key ban on coal ship barging.

The legislation is part of the government's plan to protect the Great Barrier Reef by banning sea-based disposal of dredged material in the world heritage area and restrict port-related capital dredging.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said restricting the dredging also would boost ongoing development at Gladstone, Abbot Point, Hay Point and Townsville ports.

She said it would protect the Fitzroy Delta, Keppel Bay, North Curtis Island and Port Alma.

READ MORE: Law will stop dredge spoil on the reef

The conservation council and the Environmental Defenders Office have called on the government to stop transhipping, which involves transferring coal between ships on open waters.

The Queensland Resources Council warned the state's economy could suffer.

QRC said over time the ban on dumping dredged material at sea would mean some future necessary port developments would not proceed, or be scaled back.

However, the Environmental Defenders Office and World Wildlife Fund praised the legislation.

"Eighty per cent of recent dumping has occurred outside the marine park but in the world heritage area," WWF-Australia chief Dermot O'Gorman said.

"This bill will close that loophole, putting an end to most dredge spoil sea-dumping for new projects."

The environmental groups have warned although the reef missed out on an "in-danger" listing on Friday, UNESCO was still paying careful attention to the state and federal governments.



Magistrate has no truck with mystery towie story

premium_icon Magistrate has no truck with mystery towie story

Magistrate not sold on explanation for woman's missing vehicle

Stepping towards a healthier heart

premium_icon Stepping towards a healthier heart

Two cardiac events in one month delivers wake-up call to local

Local Partners