A conservation group says a Queensland Government report suggests new coal ports are not needed along the Great Barrier Reef coastline.
WWF Australia says a recent Government report indicates the state's three major coal ports are operating at an average 50 per cent capacity.
The report was prepared by the Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning (DSDIP).
WWF Australia spokesman Nick Heath says the State Government called for expressions of interest in expanding Abbot Point, near Bowen in north Queensland, just days after the report was released.
"We're not actually using the ports we've already got," he said.
"Why are we thinking we need to build more ports and cause more destruction of the reef, more destruction of these fishing nurseries when we could better utilise the ones we've got already? "These ports are in sensitive areas - the nurseries of the fish that people like to catch out on the reef, back on the coastlines where these ports would be requiring enormous dredging." However, Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney says the central and north Queensland ports need to be expanded to meet future export demand.