Tough assessment process

A PROPOSAL to build a $1.2 billion coal terminal at Port Alma is about to begin a tough assessment and approval process.

The Fitzroy Terminal project was declared a "significant project" by Queensland Coordinator-General Keith Davies, meaning the proponent must submit an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

Mr Davies said a significant project declaration was not an indication of approval.

The project is owned by a consortium including Queensland-based private investment group Mitchell Group Holdings. The proposal would create a coal export facility adjacent to Port Alma with export capacity of 22 million tonnes per year.

Mr Davies said the process would be a rigorous assessment of the proposal's potential environmental, social and economic impacts.

"Addressing the needs of mine operators in Central Queensland remains highly important, but this must be balanced with any potential impacts on the surrounding environment," Mr Davies said.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) policy manager freshwater Sean Hoobi, said the organisation was "very concerned" by the announcement.

"We're very concerned that the Queensland Government is rolling ahead with further major development in the Gladstone region, given the significant impacts that are occurring right now, especially with the recent decision by the World Heritage Committee to come and investigate development in the (Great Barrier Reef region)," he said.

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