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The Port of Abbot Point has operated safely, adjacent to protected and sensitive terrestrial and marine environments for more than 35 years.

The terminal is committed to protecting the local environmental and operates under ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System accreditation requirements. All works are undertaken in strict compliance with environmental requirements and the terminal operator works closely with approval bodies to ensure all activities are managed appropriately in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.

Movement of ships in and out of the Terminal is controlled and monitored by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Maritime Safety Queensland's Coastal Vessel Traffic Service and Reef Vessel Traffic Service to ensure shipping is conducted safely and designated shipping channels are used.

Environmental Programs

The following programs are undertaken continually at the Terminal for the protection of the environment in which it operates.

Surface Water Monitoring Program
Since 1997
Air Quality Monitoring Program
Since 2000
Beach Monitoring Program
Since 2004
Groundwater Monitoring Program
Since 2010
Marine Sediment Monitoring Program
Since 2014
Real time air quality monitoring
Since 2015
Accredited ISO* 9001 Quality Management Systems, ISO 48001 Safety Management System, and ISO 14001 Environmental Management System
Pest and weed management conducted in partnership with Juru Traditional Owners

Environmental Impact Management

NQXT and Abbot Point Operations understand that our environmental performance is critical to the region. We are committed to protecting the Terminal leasehold area and the adjacent environment through the careful management of our operations. As stated in our Environmental Policy, we are committed to:

  • Minimising and/or preventing environmental harm and pollution through the active identification and management of environmental risk.
  • Encouraging the efficient use of resources, recycling materials and the reduction of waste.
  • Maintaining an Environmental Management System in accordance with and certified to AS/NZS ISO 14001:2015.
  • Complying with relevant environment legislation, regulations and standards

Protecting our leasehold area and our local environment is key to a long-term sustainable future at the Terminal, which is why we have implemented the following environmental impact management initiatives:

  • Compliance reporting is provided to regulators annually and on an as required basis.
  • Abbot Point Operations reports emissions and energy use annually under the Federal National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme (NGERs).
  • Recently implemented DUKC system at the Terminal to protect the marine environment and reduce the risks of marine incidents
  • Continue air monitoring practices.
  • We have a dust monitoring program comprising eight dust deposition gauges and five PM10 monitors across the port to measure dust particulates, as per license requirements and associated objectives.
  • We use multiple dust mitigation strategies. These include water sprays to moisten coal during handling, reclaiming and ship loading. This is in addition to applying water to coal stockpiles in advance of, and during, windy and dry conditions. We also focus on deferring works when the conditions for dust generation are considered to be high risk. This includes storm parking for stacker/reclaimers during associated high wind operating procedures.
Case Study

Abbot Point weed & animal management

Abbot Point weed & animal management

We take our obligations as the steward of the Terminal lease area seriously. As part of this, we support two major initiatives to manage invasive weeds and animals that are declared restricted matter under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

As part of Abbot Point Operation’s Mission to Grow Local, we partner with the Traditional Owners of the land, the Juru People, to conduct weed and pest management activities on our lease area and neighbouring land. This allows a coordinated approach to target local Weeds of National Significance (WONS) species, which are persistent in the area.

These actions help preserve the natural biodiversity of the Abbot Point area, encouraging native species to thrive.

We also work with the twice-yearly Whitsunday Regional Council feral animal aerial eradication program to remove feral pigs from the wetlands and farmlands surrounding the Terminal.

The Terminal’s water management systems are highly effective and support enormous biodiversity including fish, amphibian, and birdlife. 

Water Management

In the last three years alone, NQXT has undertaken various projects for enhancing the terminal water management infrastructure. These projects have engaged a range of state and local government bodies, engineering experts and construction professionals to deliver benefits to the terminal including:

  • Improved water quality monitoring equipment
  • Improvements to natural rainfall harvesting to support operations
  • Controlling the impact of extreme weather events to mitigated environmental impacts on the adjacent land areas.
  • We have adopted an overarching water management strategy to enhance water recycling and the responsible use of resources. This will maximise rainfall harvesting, storage and use.
  • Improvement initiatives have been implemented to increase onsite storage capacity from 388 megalitres to 477 megalitres (an increase of 23%).We are pleased to see this work is already helping us to deliver positive environmental outcomes for the Caley Valley Wetlands.
Case Study

Water quality

Water quality

We take our water quality seriously. The Terminal has a stringent water quality total suspended solids (TSS) standard of 30mg/L for stormwater that is released from the Terminal. This is the strictest water quality compliance condition of all the Queensland coal terminals.

Water quality in the adjacent Caley Valley Wetlands, particularly turbidity, can decline following a wet weather event and an influx of fresh water. This has resulted in naturally increased high levels of TSS being recorded in the Caley Valley Wetlands.

This has been recorded in recent years at more than fifteen times the Terminal’s stormwater discharge TSS requirements. Stormwater on site is managed in compliance with the Terminal’s Environmental Authority via the Terminal’s water management system, which incorporates a Flocculant Dosing Plant (FDP).