Port of Gladstone, Queensland
Frequently asked questions
What is the purpose of the review of the Port of Gladstone?
The review has been commissioned in response to the World Heritage Committee's Decision 36 Com 7B.8, issued in June 2012. The Committee's decision requested that the Australian Government undertake an independent review of the management arrangements for the Port of Gladstone. After examining and reporting on the management arrangements, the review may make recommendations about optimisation of port development and operations, in line with international standards of best practice and the status of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
The review will also advise the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities on matters relevant to decision-making under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and any other matters as requested by the minister.
Who will the review report to?
The review will report their findings to Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.
Who are members of the review?
The review will be conducted by a panel of experts. The panel is chaired by Ms Anthea Tinney and includes scientific experts Associate Professor Eva Abal, Professor Richard Kenchington and Dr Ian Cresswell. The secretariat for the panel is based in the Department of Environment, Sustainability, Water, Population and Communities.
Is the review truly independent?
Yes. The Chair and members of the panel have been appointed by the minister as an independent body to conduct the review. Any review findings will be their own and they can draw on any information source they consider useful or necessary in addressing the Terms of Reference.
What is the timeframe for reporting?
The minister has requested the findings of the review be presented to him by 30 June 2013.
How does the review relate to the strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area?
The review is focussed on the port of Gladstone. The outcomes of the review are expected to inform the comprehensive strategic assessment currently underway.
Relevant information commissioned and prepared through the comprehensive strategic assessment to date will also be available for the consideration of the panel to inform their deliberations.
Will developments in the Port of Gladstone be given federal approval while the review is occurring?
The minister will continue to meet his responsibilities under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. His obligations for decision-making remain the same.
Does the Queensland Government have a role in the review?
The review is independent of any government. The Queensland Government will have the opportunity along with other interested parties to make a submission to the review. The review will cooperate with the newly established Gladstone Healthy Harbours Partnership initiative, and its associated Science Panel, to avoid unnecessary duplication and ensure their proposed workplan and governance arrangements are fully considered.
Will extensions of time be granted in order to make a submission to the review?
The review is due to provide its findings by 30 June 2013. If you would like to provide a submission but were unable to do so before 20 March 2013, please contact the secretariat as soon as possible. The secretariat can be reached at email@example.com.
How will the recent floods in the Gladstone area affect the review?
External factors can contribute to environmental issues within the Port of Gladstone, such as natural causes, catchment runoff, established industrial operations, urban expansion and floodplain changes. Environmental resilience in light of these pressures will be considered by the review, in accordance with the Terms of Reference. Impact of floods is one of the external factors that will be taken into consideration by the review.
How will this review take into account the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership?
The review will cooperate with the newly established Gladstone Healthy Harbours Partnership initiative and its associated Science Panel. This partnership draws together industry, community, scientists and government to focus on best practice monitoring and management of the harbour. The review will seek to avoid unnecessary duplication and ensure the Partnership's proposed workplan and governance arrangements are fully considered.
Will the review only use the data from the Gladstone Ports Corporation?
No. The review will consider data from multiple sources. The panel will also be able to obtain further independent scientific information to support the review if they determine it is required.
Will the review look into the health of fish, dugong or turtles in Gladstone Harbour?
The review will consider the impacts of approved developments and operations in the Port of Gladstone on the outstanding universal value of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. This will include impacts to fish health, seagrass, turtles, dugongs and other relevant concerns.
Will the review be examining the reliability of dredging reports from the harbour authority?
Monitoring of dredging activities is one of several key management, monitoring and reporting programs and arrangements within the Port of Gladstone that will be considered. The review will consider these and other relevant programs in terms of their effectiveness in protecting the outstanding universal value of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The analysis will identify areas of duplication, monitoring gaps and potential improvements in governance arrangements.
Will the review be recommending changes to environmental conditions placed on the Curtis Island developments and dredging?
The review will consider the impacts of approved developments and operations in the Port of Gladstone on attributes that form the outstanding universal value of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. These impacts will be taken into account by the review when considering the cumulative environmental impacts of approved development proposals, those undergoing assessment and those proposed for the future.
The Terms of Reference include that the review will have regard to and, if necessary, provide advice on lessons learned for the future development and operation of Gladstone and other port areas within and adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage property.
Will the review be looking into the impact of developments on the health of the harbour?
The review will consider the impacts of approved developments and operations in the Port of Gladstone on attributes that form the outstanding universal value of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. This will include impacts to fish health, seagrass, turtles, dugongs and other relevant environmental concerns.
Other external factors also contribute to environmental issues within the port, such as natural causes, catchment runoff, established industrial operations, urban expansion and floodplain changes. Environmental resilience in light of these pressures will be considered by the review.
How will the review engage the community?
Public submissions to the review were invited until 20 March 2013. In order to ensure the review is conducted in a transparent manner, submissions will be published on the review's website as soon as possible after the close of the public submission period. If submitters believe they have a good reason for keeping all or part of their submission confidential, it should be clearly stated in the submission. The department may also be authorised or required by law to disclose the submissions in the future including where an application is made under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) and where the department has been served with a valid search warrant.
The review panel will visit the Port of Gladstone for a visual inspection. They will also visit Gladstone after the closure of the submission period in order to meet with key stakeholders and clarify issues raised in submissions. Some parties may be specifically contacted for follow-up consultation.
The community can stay informed about the progress of the review by viewing the review's website (www.environment.gov.au/gladstonereview). Questions about the review may be directed to the secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org.