APPROVED: $760m harbour dredging project to create 380 jobs
A $760 million dredging project in Gladstone's Harbour has received Coordinator General approval with conditions for the environmental impact statement.
The Gladstone Ports Corporation released the final Environmental Impact Statement for the Port of Gladstone Gatcombe and Golding Cutting Channel Duplication Project in November last year.
The project involves duplicating the Gatcombe and Golding Cutting channels to keep up with the predicted increase in export growth and allow better passage for ships.
The report identified the dredging work would be to a depth of about 16.1m, a width of 200m and a total length of about 15km dredging a total of 12.85 million cubic metres.
It is expected to create 386 fulltime construction jobs and 23 operational jobs.
The project would also include building bund walls to create a Western Basin Expansion reclamation adjacent to the existing Western Basin reclamation area.
Read more about the project:
The approval of the project comes with numerous conditions and offset requirements including for GPC to establish a Dredge Technical Reference Panel to provide recommendations and scientific advice for water quality management and oversee the development and implementation of the dredge management plan.
Conditions also include strict water quality release limits, maximum disturbance limits on marine animal habitat including marine turtles, dugongs, dolphins and shorebirds.
An offset strategy, which must include measures that appropriately compensate for any loss of habitat, must also be finalised before the project can start.
A GPC spokesperson said the reason for the project was based on shipping needs and the demand for trade and vessel size in the future.
"Due to the long lead-in time required for planning and preparation for such a project - including environmental baseline data collection, impact assessments, State and Commonwealth government approval processes, detailed design and dredge contractor procurement - it has been necessary to complete the Channel Duplication Project Environmental Impact Statement process now," the spokesperson said.
"GPC received Queensland Government conditioned approval on the Channel Duplication Project EIS this month, and is currently reviewing the conditions and offset requirements set out by state departments."
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the approval was a massive step forward for the Port of Gladstone.
"The Gladstone port has so much opportunity to expand," Mr Butcher said.
"With capacity increased it will allow the port to grow and create economic benefits for Gladstone."
He said he was satisfied with the conditions set by the Coordinator General.
"The Coordinator General's evaluation report sets strict conditions for these works to manage the environment and social impacts of the project," he said.
"Stated conditions must be applied to subsequent approvals.
"The Coordinator General has closely collaborated with the department of Environment and Science and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries to develop conditions to manage environmental impacts."
The EIS for the Gatcombe and Golding Cutting Channel Duplication is available for viewing in digital copy on GPC's corporate website at www.gpcl.com.au/development/channel-duplication-project.