Greenpeace reveals failings in Abbot Point study

Press release - 4 December, 2012
4 December 2012: Greenpeace has this morning released details of two major flaws in the Abbot Point Cumulative Impact Assessment, as the public comment period closes today.

The Assessment looks at the environmental impact of three proposed new coal terminals at Abbot Point, just north of the Whitsunday Islands within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

But the study, prepared by the project proponents, completely fails to include an estimate of the greenhouse gas contribution of these major new coal terminals, and the impact of dumped dredge spoil on a Whitsunday Island protected as a National Park.

Climate Campaigner Georgina Woods said, “The new coal terminals proposed for Abbot Point may increase the volume of coal exported from this site to over 200 million tonnes per annum – that’s over two-thirds of what we are currently exporting per year. “

“In the last month, frightening new research has revealed the world is heading towards global warming of four degrees Celsius, and coal is Australia’s - and the world’s - biggest contribution to this disaster.”

“For a study of the impact of three new coal export terminals to omit this globally significant impact is astounding and reveals the extent to which the coal industry is still evading its responsibility for climate change.” continued Woods.

In addition, Greenpeace says the study failed to assess how dumping up to 3 million cubic metres of dredge spoil approximately 10km from Holbourne Island National Park might affect the island’s environment. 

“Holbourne Island is a significant nesting site for Green and Flatback turtles,” said Woods. “Its fringing reefs and secluded beaches make it a popular weekend destination for local residents and recreational fishermen. Queensland families don’t deserve to have their picnic grounds used as a dumping ground and ship car park for the coal industry.”

“We need the Federal government to respect the request from UNESCO and stop the industrialisation of the Great Barrier Reef before it’s too late,” concluded Woods.

Further comment contact:

Greenpeace Campaigner, Georgina Woods: 0437 405 932

Greenpeace Media Officer, Julie Macken: 0400 925 217

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