HUGE LIQUEFIED GAS PROJECT PROPOSED FOR ABBOT POINT
Energy World Corporation (EWC) is planning to construct a huge liquefied gas export terminal at Abbot Point on the Queensland coast. The project, which comes just months after the Great Barrier Reef Marine Authority approved plans to dump 3,000,000 tons of dredge spoil in the area as part of a coal export expansion, could involve dredging half a million meters of seabed, further damaging the sensitive region. While the EWC states that the project was designed to minimize environmental impacts, environmentalists fear the effects the dredging could have on the ecosystem. Although the project would require that dredged material be disposed of on land rather than within the Great Barrier Reef marine park, a campaign director for the Australian Marine Conservation Society expressed concern over the harm this could do to the local wetlands. Furthermore, the project would result in an increase in shipping, potentially endangering the reef and its wildlife. The Australian government is currently examining the EWC proposal to see if it needs to be examined under national environmental law. For the full story, see http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/10/abbott-point-gas-project-could-dredge-half-million-cubic-metres and http://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/huge-gas-project-proposed-for-abbot-point-following-coal-terminal-approval-20140410-36erg.html.