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Thursday, 14 February 2013
Page: 1448

Mr CHRISTENSEN (Dawson) (13:48): Tomorrow is the final day for submissions to be made to the Public environment report on the proposed dredging at the Abbot Point coal terminal just north of Bowen and the expansion that is proposed there. I want it on record that I strongly support the Abbot Point expansion, but I believe it needs to be done without dumping dredged material at sea. Despite assurances from North Queensland Bulk Ports that all precautionary measures that can be taken will be taken, I still have major concerns that there is going to be or could be a negative impact on the environment and also on the fishing industry, recreational fishing and even tourism through the dumping of dredged material at sea.

North Queensland Bulk Ports plans to dump dredged material near Holbourne Island, which is also adjacent to the RAAF PBY-5 Catalina A24-24 crash site, now an important dive site and certainly a tourism drawcard. I will be engaging with the community. There is strong community sentiment against this throughout Bowen. I will be not only writing to the minister but also putting in a submission today to that effect to North Queensland Bulk Ports.

I call on the environment minister, who will have the ultimate approval on this, to do the right thing by the environment, the fishing industry, the tourism industry and the Bowen community. Let the project go ahead but not with the dumping of dredged material at sea.