An aerial view of the Gladstone Harbour.
An aerial view of the Gladstone Harbour. Brenda Strong

Minister rules out inquiry into Gladstone Harbour

THE Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has ruled out a Royal Commission into Gladstone Harbour, despite a prominent environmentalist's call for the inquiry.

Sue Arnold, from Australians for Animals, said on Wednesday there had been numerous problems with an independent review of the port.

The review was ordered after a call by UNESCO.

But Mr Hunt, who last week ruled out offshore dumping for a new 12 million cubic metre dredging project, said the review process was also "robust, fair and independent".

The Minister said he had asked Gladstone Ports Corporation, which applied for the new dredging project, to consider first the option of onshore dumping of spoil.

The port earlier this week said no applications had been made to dump any dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Port chief executive Craig Doyle said in a statement the project would only be needed "if port trade expands past current planned levels in the future".