Minister for State Development Dr Anthony Lynham said the Sustainable Ports Development Bill, introduced to Parliament today and the first of its kind in Australia, would boost ongoing development at the key export ports Townsville, Abbot Point, Gladstone, and Mackay Hay Point/Mackay and protect the Great Barrier Reef.
“The Palaszczuk Government is delivering on our election and Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan commitments to protect the reef by banning sea-based disposal of capital dredged material from ports in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and restricting port-related capital dredging,” Dr Lynham said.
“At the same time, we are supporting economic development, investment and job creation by master planning these priority ports and their precincts.
“The Queensland economy relies on our ports, particularly these four major bulk commodity ports in and adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
“This Bill gives us the balance we need.”
The Bill will:
- prevent disposal of capital dredge spoil from ports in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area;
- stop development of new ports in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area;
- mandate master plans for all four priority ports, supporting further local development and investment.
Dr Lynham said that master planning would make the port precincts more attractive to potential developers and investors.
The priority ports, Townsville, Abbot Point, Gladstone, Hay Point/Mackay, represent trade worth $32 billion and shifted 77 per cent of the total throughput of all Queensland ports in 2013-2014.
Dr Lynham said that the government also stood by its election commitment to protect the Fitzroy Delta, Keppel Bay and North Curtis Island and Port Alma.