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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier
    The Honourable Anna Bligh
    Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    GLADSTONE PORT EXPANSION PASSES CRITICAL ENVIRONMENTAL MILESTONE

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Monday, April 21, 2008

    GLADSTONE PORT EXPANSION PASSES CRITICAL ENVIRONMENTAL MILESTONE

    Gladstone Ports Corporation has been given the final tick of approval from the Federal Government Department of the Environment, Heritage and the Arts to proceed with the development of one of Australia’s largest coal port terminals.

    Premier Anna Bligh said this is an important milestone in the process to enable the State to develop a world leading coal port critical to the future of the State’s coal industry.

    Federal Minister Peter Garrett signed off on the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) after the Corporation satisfied all of his department’s stringent requirements.

    This follows Queensland Government approval of the EIS earlier this year.

    The approval allows GPC to move to full feasibility and detailed engineering for the terminal to meet its target to start operations in 2012/2013.

    “When completed, Wiggins Island Coal Terminal will incorporate the most technologically advanced design capability for a coal blending facility to mitigate both dust generation and emissions into the environment,“ she said.

    “This is an extremely economically viable project with Corporation having expressions of interest from sixteen (16) resource companies to take up capacity at the terminal,” she said.

    “The economic multiplier is important for both the region and the State as it will generate further development in support services and infrastructure for Gladstone.

    “It is estimated that another 500 jobs will be created in the building stage with 130 jobs at the terminal when fully operational,” Ms Bligh said.

    Deputy Premier and Infrastructure Minister Paul Lucas said on completion, the terminal will have capacity to handle 75 million tonnes a year.

    In addition, and as part of the design, it can be connected to the existing RG Tanna Coal Terminal thus adding another 15 million tonne throughput for Gladstone.

    This will mean that on completion Gladstone’s total capacity will be more than 162 million tonnes.

    Wiggins island will be built in stages. The first, valued at about $1.3 billion is expected to be completed by 2012. It has the potential to boost Gladstone’s coal exports by up to a third, or 25 million tonnes, and generate up to $1.8 billion in annual export earnings.

    Wiggins Island will greatly enhance Queensland’s ability to get our number one export across the seas to 33 potential markets.

    Associated with this, there will be a $500 million rail upgrade -- the Moura Link-Aldoga Rail Project -- to transport coal to the new Wiggins Island Coal Terminal.

    This is another part of the Bligh Government’s strategic plan for the coal industry which connects Gladstone to the Surat Basin Railway (Southern Missing Link) and key mining proposals like the Wandoan Coal Project.

    Media contact: Deputy Premier’s Office 3224 4600