Dredge Spoil Dump Ban Passed

The growth of Queensland’s major regional bulk commodity ports will be responsibly managed, and the Great Barrier Reef protected, under legislation passed in State Parliament today.

State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said that the laws put into effect the government’s key port-related commitments in the Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan.

We are protecting our iconic Reef and ongoing economic development around our regional ports,” he said. “The legislation will also provide more opportunities for the public to have their say and understand how the four major regional ports plan their future development.”

The Act will:

  • prevent at-sea disposal of capital dredged material 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.

The legislation will also ensure that any port-related capital dredged material must be beneficially reused, or otherwise disposed of on land. Beneficial reuse includes land reclamation, beach nourishment and environmental restoration, such as creating or restoring wetlands or nesting islands.

The Palaszczuk Government has accepted all 13 recommendations made by the Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee, either in full or in principle – including allowing limited capital dredging in Cairns.

Master planning is underway at Gladstone and starts in the first quarter of 2016 at Abbot Point, in the second quarter of 2016 in Townsville and in 2017 at Hay Point/Mackay.