Port of Abbot Point Cumulative Impact Assessment

Abbot Point CIA working group

We prepared a Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) for the Port of Abbot Point in northern Queensland, in collaboration with Open Lines Consulting Pty Ltd.

The CIA was an innovative step in impact assessment which considered the potential direct, indirect and facilitated impacts of a series of proposed port expansion projects in an integrated and holistic manner. It focused primarily on Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES) protected under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and also considered broader environmental values of the area.

Key issues considered in the CIA were:

  • The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area
  • Marine and terrestrial threatened and migratory species and communities
  • Caley Valley Wetland and its internationally important migratory shorebird community
  • Impacts relating to shipping.
  • Cumulative impacts were considered at two scales — how individual impacts combined across proposals and how these impacts interacted in an additive manner. The analysis was underpinned by 16 technical studies developed by a range of specialist consultants and the input of heritage and environmental academic experts.

    Key outcomes of the CIA were the development of conservation objectives and a proposed Joint Environmental Management Framework (JEMF).