Minister Hunt Presents Findings of Independent Review (Australia)

Federal Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt MP released the independent review into the leaking bund wall incidents at the Port of Gladstone.

The relevant findings will be used to inform the assessment of future developments with reclamation areas in coastal environments.

These findings include:

– Aspects of the design and construction of the bund wall were not consistent with industry best practice. While the overall design of the bund wall and the choice of geotextile were considered appropriate, inadequate restraint of a geotextile liner, ‘piping’ of water and sediment through paleo channels under the wall and the erosion of mud outside the wall all contributed to changes in turbidity in the vicinity of the bund wall;

– The location of water quality monitoring sites associated with the Western Basin Strategic Dredging and Disposal Project was inadequate to determine whether changes in turbidity were attributable to the performance of the bund wall;

– The Department of the Environment’s ability to respond to alleged breaches of conditions was limited by the lack of specificity in some of the previous Labor Government’s conditions of approval, inadequate resourcing of the regulatory functions at the time of the incident and fragmented and complex cross-jurisdictional regulations.

“It is important to note that the findings relate to events in 2011 and 2012,” he said.

Information about the review is available HERE.

Press Release, May 9, 2014

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