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To: The Honourable Tony Burke, Federal Minister for the Environment

Communities Protecting our Region- No Dudgeon Point Coal Terminal

Communities Protecting our Region- No Dudgeon Point Coal Terminal

Dear Australian Environment Minister, Tony Burke,

Please do not approve the two massive Dudgeon Point Coal Terminals near Mackay, on Queensland’s Whitsunday Coral Coast. We are calling on you to protect the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef and in doing so secure our communities’ health and lifestyle. The threats that the Dudgeon Point expansions will bring from increased levels and hazards of coal dust, noise, dredging and shipping are too great a risk for the health of our communities and our Reef.

Why is this important?

The Indian company Adani and Dudgeon Point Project Management (a consortium of coal companies) are proposing to build a large coal storage area and port facility at Dudgeon Point 13km southeast of the city of Mackay. The two coal stockpiles will be up to 20m high (8m foundations) and cover an area the size of 900 soccer fields (approximately 400 hectares). If approved, Dudgeon Point and existing Hay Point terminal expansions are expected to increase coal exports by two to three times current levels to a projected capacity of 250 to 300 million tonnes per year. With a similar expansion planned for Abbot Point the Whitsunday Coral Coast would be bordered by the two largest coal port complexes in the world, greatly diminishing the premier tourism brand the region has worked so hard to develop.

There are three main reasons we would like to see the proposal rejected:

Coal Dust is a Health Risk- Coal dust is a health risk – we don’t know what the impacts could be!

The World Health Organisation states that even background levels of coal dust, well below their official standards, are hazardous to the more vulnerable i.e. children and the elderly. Fine coal dust (PM2.5 or less) cannot be naturally expelled from the lungs. Finer particles of PM0.1 or less can cross from the lungs into the bloodstream and have been associated with causing leukaemia.

Coal dust contains heavy metals such as arsenic and PAHs which can cause cancers, brain tumours, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases. Given the proximity of the coal stockpiles, uncovered coal trains and coal loading facilities to the surrounding communities and Mackay region the health risks to people and marine life within the Great Barrier Reef must be known before this project proceeds further.
The facts are:
• That fine coal dust can easily travel to Mackay and surrounding communities with prevailing south easterly winds;
• Coal dust has also been measured in waters of the Outer Great Barrier Reef
• There is no way to measure the exposure levels; and
• Fine coal dust is hazardous even at low background levels

120,000 residents should not be exposed to a potential legacy of ill health similar to that suffered through exposure to asbestos or tobacco smoke. These caused significant hardships and public health costs.

The Reef Needs Our Protection- The reef is in trouble already, it cannot cope with the threats of significant increases in coal dust and coal shipping

Coal export and storage facilities are expanding up and down the Queensland coast in what is the biggest resource boom our nation has ever seen. Simply put, more ships means more accidents destroying our already vulnerable reef and damaging our ocean wildlife. The dredging of the ocean floor means more sediment being spread throughout our local marine environment risking the damage that our unfortunate neighbours in Gladstone have already experienced. In addition recent research at James Cook University by Dr Kathy Burns has shown how coal dust is spreading from the existing ports over the reef by air and sea.

Hay Point already has two ports that can export 130 million tonnes of coal per year, the full capacity of these ports is not currently utilised. Any further expansion is economically unnecessary and environmentally catastrophic. We cannot allow our precious Reef and local marine waters to lose their natural values. It is the responsibility of us all, and particularly our community leaders, to protect the iconic Great Barrier Reef for future generations.

Costing our Community- Dudgeon Point is threatening our communities peaceful lifestyle

Dudgeon Point is in the middle of a coastal area that has seen growing rural residential development over the last 20 years. Communities like Dunrock, McEwens Beach, Timberlands, Louisa Creek, Half Tide, Salonika Beach and the surrounding roads are facing increased serious health risks if the Dudgeon Point coal terminals are approved. The experience of surrounding communities has already been one of increasing noise, dust, traffic and the loss of visual amenities. How can we believe that Dudgeon Point development will not make this situation even worse for local residents? No comprehensive, authentic cost/benefit analysis of this project has been done. Why should we lose our health, peaceful lifestyle and quality of life for unknown and unproven outcomes?

How it will be delivered

This petition will be delivered directly to the Honourable Tony Burke.

This petition is an initiative of the Communities Protecting our Region (CPR) to preserve our communities’ healthy lifestyle and the Great Barrier Reef. We are a group of citizens who share a love for our coastal community and want to protect it for the future.

More information at

Reasons for signing

  • Shouldn't that amount of capital be going into renewable energy sources?
  • To help safeguard the future of the Great Barrier Reef
  • Stop this insanity


2016-05-18 18:17:18 +1000

100 signatures reached