PAC approval for T4 coal loader
The Planning Assessment Commission has recommended the T4 coal loader on Kooragang Island be approved. The proposed $5 billion coal loading terminal would see capacity at the port increase by 70 million tonnes.
The PAC acknowledged that world coal demand had waned, and that there was no immediate need for the loading terminal. However it said the project could go ahead subject to conditions around management of air quality and dust, noise, surface water, ground water, contamination, and visual impact.
The PAC also investigated submissions regarding the health impacts in relation to coal dust and said it did not find a reason to cover coal wagons travelling to the site and was satisfied that by concentrating coal handling on Kooragang Island, at a greater distance from residential areas than other existing sources “T4 could provide greater flexibility to improve air quality in Newcastle residential areas if community expectations and regulatory requirements tighten as expected”.