There is an additional coal export terminal planned for Newcastle Port - the Terminal 4 Project (T4). T4 is currently on exhibition and public submissions to counter its devastating ecological impacts are needed by 7 May 2012. Information and submission guides are available here.
The NSW Greens oppose the T4 Project on the grounds that it has the potential for devastating ecological impacts and because it is intrinsically linked to the expansion of coal mining in the Hunter Valley. Without this expansion there would be no need for T4.
The T4 Project includes
- new rail infrastructure
- coal stockyard
- conveyors and ancillary facilities (‘land based facilities’) on Kooragang Island, adjacent
- to the existing Kooragang Coal Terminal (KCT)
- wharves, berths, ship loaders and ancillary facilities (‘marine facilities’) along the north and south banks of the Hunter River South Arm, to the south of the land-based facilities.
- also dredging in the Hunter River South Arm to create shipping channels and berths required for the T4 Project.
Newcastle Greens, many Hunter community and environment groups and NGOs will be making submissions. The project application number is 10_0215. You should include this in any correspondence.
The accredited assessment process for the proposed T4 development to be used for both NSW and Commonwealth decisions is:
Part 3A of the New South Wales Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979
Controlled Action under the EPBC Act – The Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Populations and Communities
The EPBC Act Part 3, Division 1 controlling provisions are sections
16 and 17B (Wetlands of international importance)
18 and 18A (Listed threatened species and communities), and
20 and 20A (Listed migratory species)
The EPBC Referral can be viewed here and there are some good maps at p68
Further information on Newcastle Port and T4
It would be the fourth coal terminal at the Port and would be operated by Port Waratah Coal Services Limited (PWCS). The company already operates 2 coal terminals at Newcastle Port and T4 would increase the amount of coal “throughput” by a further 120 million tonnes per annum (120 Mtpa). Currently PWCS throughput is 133 Mtpa, so T4 would double the amount of coal it exports through Newcastle Port.
Further information on Port Waratah Coal Services here:
The third terminal is operated by Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG) and is continuing its own expansion to 66 Mtpa by 2013.
Member companies of PWCS and NCIG are resource companies including: BHP Billiton, Centennial Coal, Donaldson Coal, Peabody Energy, Yancoal, Whitehaven Coal, Rio Tinto, Anglo Coal and Xstrata.
The recent forum Paddock to Port supplies some useful statistics on Australia’s coal exports, China and India’s plans for renewable and alternative energy and implications for Australian coal exports and economy.
You will find a map of Kooragang Island, Newcastle Port here
The coal chain is turning prime agricultural land, the biodiversity, and the communities of the Hunter Valley into stark, scarred landscapes of open cut mines, endless coal trains and ghost towns. That this ever expanding coal chain will dramatically increase Australia’s carbon emissions is obvious.
Here’s a list of mines in the Hunter Valley that are proposed, just approved or waiting for approval (as at March 2012):
- Mt Pleasant – waiting approval
- Warkworth expansion – just approved
- Carrington West – waiting approval
- Saddlers Creek – at assessment stage
Most other mines have had or awaiting some expansion or modification
And in other areas :
- Moolarben Stage 2 – not approved yet – 17mtpa
- Cobbora – at assessment stage (domestic and export) 20mtpa
- Ulan – expansion just approved 20mtpa
- Wilpinjong – next expansion in assessment stage 15mtpa
- Duralie – expansion approved
- Gloucester Resources – at assessment stage
- Maules Creek – awaiting final approval
- Boggabri – expansion
- Werris Creek – expansion
- Caroona – at assessment stage
- Shenua – at assessment stage