Shipping figures are wrong: Seeney

THE Queensland Government is demanding a timeline on how long the Federal Government and its Green "comrades" intend to delay the South of Embley bauxite mine project on Cape York.

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has asked for a review into the number of shipping movements to go through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park because of the South of Embley mine operation.

Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said Rio Tinto had State Coordinator General approval to have 310 shipping movements through the reef annually.

He said the new mine would take the total number of shipping movements on the reef route up to 300 annually.

Mr Seeney said this was contrary to claims from the Wilderness Society there would be 700 shipping movements through the reef now.

"The figure is plain wrong, something the Federal Minister and his department should have recognised immediately," he said.

"Ships travel the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park route from Weipa to Gladstone now. The additional shipping associated with the South of Embley mine amounts to an additional 30 ships a year.

"Those shipping movements were addressed and approved at a federal and state level when the Yarwun alumina refinery expansion was assessed.

"Given those facts I challenge Minister Burke to tell Queensland how long he intends to delay this project."

The Wilderness Society refuted Mr Seeney's claim the 700 shipping movements figure was false and said it came from Rio Tinto's own environmental impact statement.

APN Newsdesk expects to receive a copy of the EIS this afternoon.

"If it's 50, 100, 300 or 700, it should be properly assessed under federal environmental laws," Wilderness Society campaigner Glenn Walker said.

"Jeff Seeney does not understand - he has a development-at-all-costs and mining-at-all-costs mindset."


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