Mackay – Hay Point
Risks in Mackay
Just south of Mackay, the Port of Hay Point is currently the largest coal port on the Great Barrier Reef. It comprises two terminals: Hay Point and Dalrymple Bay.
Plans to construct a huge new terminal four kilometres north of Hay Point at Dudgeon Point was cancelled in June 2014 after a downturn in coal prices and significant concerns from the local community about coal dust and dredging. The Dudgeon Point project would have required 14 million cubic metres of dredging and dumping in the marine park.
There is now a proposal by Mitchell Group to build the Bowen Basin Terminal project just south of Hay Point near the community of Half Moon. This would initially export 10-15 million tonnes, increasing over time to 30 million tonnes. Shallow barges would carry coal 24 hours a day to coal ships waiting off shore in the marine park. A trans-shipper would be used to transfer the coal from barge to ship in the open waters of the Great Barrier Reef.
This new proposed port project will threaten the health of the local community and beaches where vulnerable green and flatback turtles nest.
The Queensland Government made a commitment to ban transhipping in the Reef once elected however we are yet to see this happen.
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