North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) will start a maintenance dredging program at the Port of Mackay in the following days. It will be the first time maintenance dredging has been conducted at the Port of Mackay since 2013.
Member for Mackay, Julieanne Gilbert, said that it was an important task for the port, which saw 195 shipping movements during the last financial year, recording its second-best result of 3.17 million throughput tonnes, despite COVID-19.
“Additionally, the project will support 20 jobs during the project from ship crew to surveyors – jobs vital as part of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery,” Mrs Gilbert said.
“Making sure our ports and waters remain safe and navigable is vital to our region’s supply chain and its $17 billion economy.
“Projects like this add to the Palaszczuk Government’s major investments at our port, plus road projects like the $120 million Mackay Northern Access Upgrade as well as the Walkerston Bypass.”
NQBP Chief Executive Officer, Nicolas Fertin, added that maintenance dredging is important to ensure efficient navigable shipping depths for port users.
“In the same way we maintain roads and rail lines for freight transport, we need to look after our port infrastructure to keep trade flowing,” Mr Fertin said.
“This was achieved despite the global impact of COVID-19, demonstrating the importance of the Port’s role in the Queensland economy supporting jobs and industry in the region.”
NQBP will continue to engage with key stakeholders including the Mackay Technical Advisory and Consultative Committee (TACC) as the project progresses. Members of the TACC include conservation groups, Traditional Owners, scientists, community, port users, and Commonwealth and the State Government.
NQBP has the relevant State and Commonwealth maintenance dredging permits in place for the program.
Dredging will be undertaken with the TSHD Brisbane and in line with the Queensland Government Maintenance Dredging Strategy for Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area Ports.