Qld ports strategy won't harm reef: Seeney

THE ports of Townsville, Abbot Point, Hay Point plus Mackay, Gladstone and Brisbane will make up the five priority port development areas under the Queensland government’s new port strategy.
Qld ports strategy won't harm reef: Seeney Qld ports strategy won't harm reef: Seeney Qld ports strategy won't harm reef: Seeney Qld ports strategy won't harm reef: Seeney Qld ports strategy won't harm reef: Seeney

The Great Barrier Reef.

Lou Caruana

Deputy Premier and State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Jeff Seeney said the strategy outlined 18 actions that would provide a rigorous, systematic approach to balance economic development with protection of the environment, including protecting the Great Barrier Reef.

“Central to this strategy is the establishment of five priority port development areas where future port development will be concentrated,” he said.

“Within and adjoining the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, the Queensland government will prohibit dredging for the development of new, or the expansion of existing port facilities outside these port precincts for the next decade.

“We understand the Great Barrier Reef is unique and special to all Queenslanders and we are committed to its protection for this and future generations.

“Our approach is consistent with the UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s recommendations to restrict port development in sensitive reef areas to existing major ports.”

Seeney said the strategy recognised the importance of port capacity to the state’s economy and to provide jobs in the mining, agriculture, tourism and construction sectors.

“We understand that port infrastructure is essential to getting Queensland coal and agricultural produce to market and this strategy ensures we can meet the future needs of those growing industries,” he said.

“Our government will seal our commitment to port reform through the introduction of a Ports Bill to Parliament.

“This bill will provide stand-alone legislation to enact the strategy’s key actions.”

The Queensland Ports Strategy was developed following public consultation on the Great Barrier Reef Ports Strategy in 2012 and the draft Queensland ports strategy in 2013.