Government approves major expansion… But at what cost?

The expansion of Abbott Point Coal Terminal in north Queensland has been approved by the federal government, which will make it

The expansion of Abbott Point Coal Terminal in north Queensland has been approved by the federal government, which will make it one of the world’s largest coal ports. This announcement has been met with polarising views.

Queensland’s Labor government put forward a plan to dredge 1.1 million cubic metres of spoil near the Great Barrier Reef, which will then be disposed of on land, rather than back in the ocean. This idea was given the go-ahead by Federal Environment Minister, Greg Hunt.

The controversial plan will enable coal to be shipped from mining projects throughout Queensland, such Adani conglomerate’s proposed $16 billion Carmichael mine. The government has given its approval only with strict environmental conditions in place.

Despite this, people are expressing vehement concerns. As Facebook user Lisa Nicolai wrote, “when the environment is gone, will (the government) be able to eat their money?” Whilst Damian Knightsbridge added, “our government can only see money in coal. We have long been the not clever country”. 

On the other hand, people have pointed out that an expanded port will increase Australia’s coal export capacity by 70%. They have argued that an expansion leads to more jobs, and could improve Australia’s mining sector.

Where do you stand? Is this an expansion Australia has to have? Or should the Abbott Point Terminal be deprioritised in favour of initiatives not related to coal?


  1. All the enviromental safeguards are in place, our economy needs it and the vast majority of Oz wants it to go ahead.

    • Who says the vast majority want it to go ahead? Have you seen the stats yourself Dave Brown? I am appalled by this decision but not surprised.

    • Not one person l know is for it..we live in the dark ages…majority of other countries turning to renewables like Scotland is 100% wind power generated electricity!

    • Mike here-yep, safeguards. They were a good plan with the Exxon Valdez, certainly worked miracles in the Gulf of Mexico for BP. The list goes on but you get my drift. Why back a miner whose product is being used less & less anyway? I understand that the Lake Philipson brown coal mining plan was shelved for economics (the best brown coal in the world according to those who wanted to buy it). Instead, let’s ship uranium out of Thevenard in SA & use the same deep sea port for the returning used, enriched plutonium to be buried in the SA outback.

    • Kerry Goodwin  

      Our environment has been under stress for over 30 years now. I dont think theres any hope for the future. All down to greed. How can it possibly be turned around? We cant get forests back, or our extinct native ankmals. his will probably be the final straw for the reef.

  2. Why are we expanding an industry that we really need to stop in the short to mid term. The risk/reward of this seems to be wrong. Greg Hunt must be corrupt.

  3. What happens when all the coal is gone? Will dredging near the Great Barrier Reef have a detrimental effect on the reef? Will Adani employ local Australian workers or will they fly their workers from India? I would like to know the answers to these questions.

    • When the coals gone, so will the reef be gone. There’ll be no coal & no tourism industry. Kinda defeats it’s purpose

    • I have never heard a mining company, once it has government approval, say they need more workers than anticipated. Every single mining approval I can think of, either the mine has not gone ahead or “due to a downturn in the market” half or less the projected number of employees will be taken on.

    • another idiotic move from this Liberal Government and it will cost all of us in the long term

      • hello Leanne do you get a pension medication subsidy ect ?? I DO ..I WOULD LIKE THAT TO CONTINUE ..GOOGLE 1200 NEW COAL POWERED ELECTRICITY STATIONS BEING BUILT AROUND THE WORLD ..mostly in india and china…these countries a
        have millions of poor ..poor to a level you could never understand Leanne.. an Australian lady is selling solar lights over there little panel 1 light $30 .she can only sell them on a 2 year payment plan such is the poverty..before these they were in total darkness at night ..the indian govt is at the moment pulling 30 million out of poverty with a cheap affordable power plan with coal ..we are rich we can afford to hang solar panels on our roof ..they are lucky if they have a roof ..wonder why india and china are building mines in Australia .we could say no but they have other suppliers with dirtier coal . Australians would lose enviroment would lose …what is the point?? PLEASE DONT GIVE ME THIS CLOSE MINES TODAY all the jobs could go into renewables whole town would close ..train workers wharf worker mine workers sacked heavy earthmoving builders sacked caters sacked I could fill a page.. unless they move to china where ALL THE PANELA AN WIND GENERATERS ARE MADE …All that’s left is a few jobs screwing panels to roofs

    • Yes it will impact on the Reef. Thousands of people have signed petitions and sent My Will letters but the Government hasn’t listened. Hopefully the next election will get the message across before it is too late

    • The coal WILL eventually be gone….yes, the dredging will possibly affect the GBR and Adani will probably bring workers over! It’s all about the $$$’s…they don’t give a rats arse about any of the consequences! It never ceases to amaze me, that our politicians can’t see the big picture and I wonder WHO the bloody hell they are working for!

    • Michelle, Many of the politicians(henchmen and toerags) are working for the United Nations, for corporations and bankers and for globalisation, they don’t care what Australians think because they consider us lethargic, apathetic, stupid and ignorant. They are insidiously implementing the UN’s Agenda 21(2030 for sustainability) Please do some research, it will give you a better understanding of their diabolical plan for our children and grandchildrens’ future.
      A small number of us may make a bit of noise, but then we give up.
      They do what they are doing because WE allow them too.

    • Your great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great,great, great, great, etc will be using something else thanks to technology 😉

  4. More coal? Now? Bloody ridiculous. Investment should be in non-coal power generation – yes in India too – and we can use that to fire up our economy.

  5. Dumb dumb dumb we need to stop raiding mother nature and poisoning the atmosphere and start using the sun wind and sea to power our lives with and maybe help save the planet we live on

  6. The earth will kick back god help us when it does, coal, oil, gas all in the earths crust for a reason and I do not think it is for our use….

  7. another faux pas by the leader of the moron brigade,hunt,approving a white elephant,new coal mine ,dredge the barrier reef,and generally stuff up the eco system of our pride and joy the great barrier reef,no one has any money to develop this craziness,aldani only want handouts the queensland government will not fund it[great desicion],and this goes smack in the face of the recent paris climate talks,moron hunts defence is more jobs,some one tell him it is not going to happen

  8. The bottom is falling out of the Coal Industry, so why dig up more and risk the Great Barrier Reef ? It appears now that Adani may have trouble getting finance..we can only hope

    • Yes Libbi, 15 banks have refused to finance them. Fingers crossed this thing will fall apart.

    • I wonder how much money. Adani will expect the goverment to put into infrastructure . To get the project started.with the promise of thousands of jobs . That just won’t materialise . . This has got white elephant written all over it.god this goverment is totally useless

  9. I thought we were supposed to be cutting our greenhouse emissions.

    • it’s a big lie Peter, we will be made to pay carbon taxes, on a manufactured LIE, whilst for the UN, corporations and governments it’s business as usual and laughing all the way to the ‘banksters’.
      Just a way to control the masses, by a failsafe method – FEAR, so that ‘they’ can revenue grab extra taxes based on FEAR and propaganda, whilst they do the exact opposite. “Do as I say, not as I do”
      Meanwhile, more of our freedoms are chipped away from us all, through yes you guessed it, FEAR!
      When will the masses wake up!

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