my heart bleeds...
The Federal Government has approved the creation of one of the world's largest coal ports near the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, sparking outrage from conservationists and the Greens.
Late yesterday, Environment Minister Greg Hunt gave the go-ahead to the Abbot Point coal terminal expansion at Bowen in north Queensland.
Mr Hunt likewise approved Arrow Energy's Liquefied Natural Gas project on Curtis Island in central Queensland, and a transmission pipeline to the island.
He says he has also advised the Queensland Government of new plans designed to protect the long-term future of the Great Barrier Reef.
Millions of cubic metres of spoil must be dredged and dumped near the reef for the coal port to be constructed.
Mr Hunt says he is imposing strict environmental conditions on the project.
"It is my intention that the first priority for all future capital dredging projects within the central and north Queensland coastal zone will be for shoreline, near-to-shore or land reclamation disposal," he said.
And Abbott's Point will be renamed Abbott's Point — after the present prime minister... Meanwhile the new port will be reclaimed by the sea in a strong cyclone in 2021.