CLEANER INDUSTRY: The Gladstone Ports Corporation plans to make changes to the way it operates to reduce the amount of coal dust in Gladstone.
CLEANER INDUSTRY: The Gladstone Ports Corporation plans to make changes to the way it operates to reduce the amount of coal dust in Gladstone. Brenda Strong/File photo

Gladstone Port plans to be cleaner

AS COAL and liquefied natural gas exports increase, focus at the Gladstone port is turning to its under-utilised terminals.

Although Gladstone is traditionally a coal port, up to five million tonnes in "other" goods are exported every year - from calcite to alumina and aluminium.

Gladstone Ports Corporation plans to change the use of some of its terminals - and details about some of these are explained below - including moving the coal stockpile from Barney Point before the end of 2016.

This will take coal trains out of the centre of town and reduce the amount of coal dust that settles across residential areas.

For Jan Wilkes's family, this means no more black coal dust on their clothes as they dry on the washing line.

"It's always been a problem. The coal dust flies when the wind is going the wrong way," she said.

Mrs Wilkes says she gets more coal dust at her house in West Gladstone than at her daughter's house in Barney Point.

"I reckon I get a lot from the trains. They should be covered," she said.

"It's always been dirty coal down here, but then you don't want to do people out of jobs either."

However, GPC chief Craig Doyle said the facility was still a bulk-loading one, and so other products including calcite and ilmenite could feasibly be situated there.

He said there was no chance Barney Point would become parkland, despite rumours on the subject.

"The cost to maintain these terminals is the same whether they are at 10% capacity or 100%," he said. "Barney Point will be closed to coal, but it's still a very good berth," he said.

Former mayor and Barney Point resident Peter Corones said while he wasn't grizzling about the coal, he knew his wife would be pleased the Barney Point terminal would be used as a "cleaner" wharf.

"A number of residents have probably felt the residual dust but are aware that without those facilities we wouldn't be the mighty industrial city we are," he said.

"It's an important and strategic decision to move the multi super industry to the western basin of the harbour, well away from the residential area."



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