Gladstone Port channel duplication

July 2013: The proponent is preparing the draft environmental impact statement (EIS).

About the proposal

Gladstone Ports Corporation proposes to duplicate the existing Gatcombe and Golding Cutting shipping channel situated in the Port of Gladstone between the Auckland and Boyne Channels. The proposed channel will run parallel to the existing channel from the outer harbour, around East Banks, extending up to the western side of Facing Island.

Dredging the channel will involve disposal of the dredged material to approved offshore and /or onshore spoil grounds as well as the relocation and construction of the existing and new navigational aids.

About the area

The Port of Gladstone is a shallow, semi-enclosed estuarine system on the Central Queensland coast, approximately 525 km north of Brisbane and 100 km south of Rockhampton.

The proposed duplication of the Gatcombe and Golding Cutting shipping channel is located offshore, adjacent to the existing shipping channel bounded by the Auckland Channel and the Boyne Cutting Channel within the limits of the Port of Gladstone. It enters the south-eastern side of the Port running between the mainland and Facing Island. Both offshore and onshore dredge spoil disposal options will be investigated during the Environmental Impact Statement process. 

The application requirements

The Gladstone Port Corporation’s proposal was determined to be a controlled action by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC) under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) on 23 October 2012, as it was recognised the project could have a significant impact on a number of matters of national environmental significance.

View the full referral application, decision and assessment approach documents.

On 25 September 2012, the Coordinator-General declared the project to be a ‘significant project’ under section 26(1)(a) of the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 (Qld) which requires the proponent to prepare an EIS for the project.

Application for a Marine Parks permission

The proposed action may require a permit under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975, if components of the development are proposed to be located in the Marine Park. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) will assess the application, in accordance with the following legislation:

GBRMPA will also provide advice to DSEWPaC on matters of national environmental significance under the EPBC Act.

Environmental impact statement assessment process

The Gladstone Ports Corporation is required to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which describes the potential impact the project could have on the environment. The proponent is preparing the draft environmental impact statement (EIS).

GBRMPA assessment

GBRMPA will assess any activity that may impact on the Marine Park.

The application will be considered in accordance with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983, noting:

  • Mandatory considerations (Regulation 88Q): This includes, among others, the impact of the proposed action on the environment, social, cultural and heritage values of the Marine Park, written comments received about the application in response to the public advertisement, and other matters relevant to the orderly and proper management of the Marine Park.
  • Discretionary considerations (Regulation 88R): This includes the impact the proposed action will have on the public appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of the Marine Park, and any cumulative impacts of the proposed action.
GBRMPA will consider the impacts of the proposal on all aspects of the Marine Park, including matters raised in public submissions.

GBRMPA policies

The proposal will be assessed in accordance with GBRMPA’s policies and management approaches including our: