No more coal exported at Barney Point
From Thursday coal trains will no longer be unloading at the Barney Point Coal Terminal.
That's relief for residents like Allan Jeffrey and others in Barney Point and South Gladstone who have been complaining about the dust for years.
Toolooa St resident Allan Jeffrey is looking forward to a break from washing coal dust off his house every two weeks.
"I expect I'll never have to wash my house down again," Mr Allan said.
"It's time to congratulate the (Gladstone) Ports Corp for following through and closing the terminal. This whole side of town will be happy."
Barney Point was labelled a "problem coal terminal" by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in 2010 when it approved GPC's plans to move part of the exports operations to Wiggins Island.
"This is expected to facilitate the closure of Barney Point, which has raised pollution concerns amongst Gladstone residents for several years," the ACCC press release stated.
Unloading is the main source of airborne coal dust, according to Environmental Justice Australia researcher James Whelan, who says the change has been a long time coming for nearby residents.
Mr Whelan also says the difference will be instantly noticeable, even with trains still passing through on the way to QAL.
"Trains are also a source with the particles coming off uncovered wagons while the train is in motion, but by and large that coal has settled," Mr Whelan said.
"When you unload it, as you can imagine, it's just like dumping a tip truck and significant amounts of dust float away."
Mr Allan says he's already noticed a difference with operations at Barney Point slowly being progressively scaled back.
In the 2011-2012 financial year 4,115,675 tonnes of coal was exported through Barney Point Coal Terminal.
By 2012-2013 that dropped to 2,934,912 tonnes as the Gladstone Ports Corporation began shifting exports to Wiggins Island and RG Tanna.
Those two terminals will now take on the exports that would have gone to Barney Point.
Once the clean-up is finished, the vacant land will used to export existing and new products, such as bulky goods.
Gladstone Ports Corporation is holding an event to recognise the milestone at the Barney Point Terminal on Thursday.
A bit of history
Barney Point Coal Terminal was established in the early 1960s as a joint venture with Mitsui to export coal from the Moura coal mine.