Our management of maintenance dredging activities at the Port of Gladstone will be enhanced by the Deed of Agreement (the Deed) enacted between GPC and the Commonwealth of Australia on August 2015.
The Deed reinforces our commitment to monitor and manage maintenance dredging and the associated sea disposal activities in an environmentally responsible manner and encourages us to investigate alternatives to sea disposal for the sediments dredged.
Sustainable Sediment Management
The Sustainable Sediment Management Project (SSM Project) has been developed to help obtain a robust, well considered, long term solution for the management of maintenance dredging sediment.
In addition to delivering our commitments under the Deed, the project aligns with the Reef 2050 Plan, the Australian Government’s overarching strategy for managing the Great Barrier Reef.
The project will build a solid understanding of the sediments in the port and will evaluate whether:
- There are ways to avoid maintenance dredging and what this would mean for the ongoing operation of the Port,
- GPC can reduce maintenance dredging, and/or
- GPC can beneficially reuse the sediment removed by dredging and view it as a resource rather than a waste.
A range of technical reports, fact sheets and other summary information will be developed through the project including:
- A conceptual Sediment Budget
- Sediment texture mapping
- Gap Analysis and Sampling Strategy
- Sampling reports.
- Sediment Source Assessment
- Quantitative Sediment Budget
- Avoid Dredging
- Impacts of not dredging
- Reduce Dredging
- Beneficial Reuse of dredging
- Stakeholder engagement and evaluations
- Prefeasibility studies
Comprehensive stakeholder engagement will be undertaken during the project to assist in identifying potential sediment management opportunities suitable for progression into detailed feasibility studies.
Outcomes of the SSM Project will inform revision and improvement of our Long-term Maintenance Dredging Management Plan (LMDMP).
Water Quality Action 17 - Great Barrier Reef Quantitative Sediment Budget Assessment
Following the implementation of the Reef 2050 Plan, we have been working with the Queensland Ports Association (QPA) to address Water Quality Action 17 (WQA17). The objective of this action is to further understand port sediment characteristics and risks at the four major ports in Queensland and how they interact and contribute to broader catchment contributions within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area
To support this work, BMT WBM have prepared a quantitative sediment budget of the entire Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and regions surrounding GBR ports. This work was scoped in 2017 with input from research agencies and has been reviewed by Environment Managers from each port authority, QPA and technical specialists engaged by QPA.
In addition, it has also been the subject of independent peer review prepared by Dr Andy Symondsfrom Port and Coastal Solutions Pty Ltd.
WQA17 compliments the local scale studies being undertaken by GPC through the SSM Project.