A master plan to ensure sustainable growth of the Port of Gladstone and protection of the Great Barrier Reef has been considered an Australian first.
Member for Gladstone, Glenn Butcher, said the release of the final master plan marked a major milestone.
“The Port of Gladstone is Queensland’s largest multi-commodity port, and an important economic hub contributing significantly to regional jobs and the state’s economy,” Mr Butcher said.
“It was identified as one of the state’s four priority ports under the Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015, along with Townsville, Hay Point/Mackay and Abbot Point.
“This master plan addresses the UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s recommendations for the Outstanding Universal Value of the Great Barrier Reef.
“Balancing sustainable and economic development and managing cumulative impacts on the Great Barrier Reef is a challenge, but we are getting the balance right with careful master planning and legislation.”
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said the plan looked beyond the port boundary to ensure port-related development was sustainably managed while protecting the Great Barrier Reef.
“It considers potential marine and land-based impacts, port and supply chain capacity and connectivity, and environmental and community values,” Mr Bailey said.
“One of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitments in Our Future State: Advancing Queensland’s Priorities is to ‘Protect the Great Barrier Reef’, and the master plan demonstrates this commitment.
“The plan was finalised after research and extensive consultation with Gladstone Ports Corporation, Gladstone Regional Council, state and federal agencies and other stakeholders.
“The next step will involve the preparation of a draft port overlay, which clearly defines the regulatory and developmental considerations in the master planned area.
“All stakeholders and the community will be able to have their say on what this will look like.”
Gladstone Ports Corporation Chief Executive Officer, Peter O’Sullivan, said the Port of Gladstone master plan balanced sustainable economic development with environmental and community values.
“Gladstone Ports Corporation appreciates the Queensland Government’s efforts in involving the Corporation and Gladstone Regional Council in the preparation of the Port of Gladstone master plan,” he said.