'More coal exported sooner'

CURRENT expansion plans for the Abbot Point coal port will be scrapped to have "more coal exported sooner".

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney told parliament on Thursday the decision would end uncertainty over the proposed expansion of the multi-cargo facility and the T4-T9 proposals at the port.

He said the LNP would instead work toward approvals for the new T0, T2 and T3 terminal developments.

Mr Seeney said he would discuss with industry what additional capacity was needed beyond that.

"It was becoming abundantly clear industry was not supportive of the multi-cargo facility and the continued development of the T4-T9 terminals in the form put forward by the previous Labor government," he said.

"We have a responsibility to ensure any plans for the port at Abbot Point are deliverable and take into consideration the short and long-term needs of industry.

"Instead, the government will involve the industry in developing plans and proposals to build the capacity of Abbot Point in a more measured way and intends to do so in a manner that provides greater development certainty and better process control going forward.

"These three new terminals will provide something like 160 million tonnes of export capacity, still a huge increase on Queensland's current export capacity which is about 200 millions tonnes."

Mr Seeney said he appreciated many companies would have made varying levels of commitment to North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation and those commitments would need to be considered in detail.

But he said he was sure a "measured, incremental, staged approach" to development at Abbot Point would provide a better growth solution to Bowen and Galilee basin miners.

"The port of Abbot Point is a very important strategic asset for the state and its successful future expansion will play a key role in Queensland's economic development," he said.

"The proposals outlined by the failed Bligh Government were unrealistic and not deliverable.

"And the recent Federal Government decision to push the approval process for Abbot Point back to the end of 2012 indicated the T4-T9 and multi-cargo facility proposals might never pass the regulatory approval process.

"The significant scale, complexity and potential impacts of the proposed infrastructure are extensive and it would be many years before the whole of the planned additional capacity would realistically be warranted."



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