Port of Gladstone, Queensland
The Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Tony Burke, has commissioned an independent review of environmental management arrangements and governance of the Port of Gladstone.
The review will be used to inform the comprehensive strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef.
It also provides an opportunity for people concerned about impacts to world heritage values in the Port of Gladstone to make a submission.
The review panel will report back to the Australian Government by 30 June 2013.
Addressing the World Heritage Committee’s concerns on Gladstone Harbour
The independent review is a key component of the Australian Government’s response to the 2012 decision of the World Heritage Committee regarding the ongoing protection and management of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage property.
The decision requests that the Australian Government:
"undertake an independent review of the management arrangements for Gladstone Harbour, that will result in the optimisation of port development and operation in Gladstone Harbour and on Curtis Island, consistent with the highest internationally recognised standards for best practice commensurate with iconic World Heritage status."
What will the review involve?
The World Heritage Committee has raised concern over development activities at the Port of Gladstone and their potential to impact the outstanding universal value of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Activities of particular concern identified by the monitoring mission include development on Curtis Island, increased shipping, dredging and sea dumping activities.
Concerns have also been raised by commercial fishers and other parties about the status of fish health within the Port and the loss of seagrass meadows.
The role of the Independent Review is to:
- examine and report on the management arrangements for the Port of Gladstone to respond to the World Heritage Committee's Decision 36 Com 7B.8, and
- advise the Minister on other relevant matters to inform decision-making under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, in response to the World Heritage Committee’s decision, or any other matters as requested by the Minister.
The geographic scope of the review will include the Port of Gladstone and offshore areas that may be used for the disposal of dredge material or may be otherwise affected directly or indirectly by port development within the Port of Gladstone.
For the purpose of the Review the term "Port of Gladstone" means the area defined by the Port of Gladstone Ports Limits together with adjoining islands and landside area, including reclamation areas, that support existing or consented industrial developments or are proposed to cater for future port-related industrial activities and supporting infrastructure.