Dredging in the Port of Gladstone has occurred since the 1960s, and is a vital part of operating a safe and efficient port.
Dredging is required to create new or deeper channels and berths for ships, and to maintain the depth in channels, berths and harbours to enable a safe passage,
In the last three decades, the expansion of port facilities and other industries have been strategically planned to maintain a balance of industrial development, protection of the environment and a sustainable fishing harbour.
Fact Sheet: Why Queensland Ports need to dredge
Dredging is sometimes necessary as a part of our strategic plans and development projects:
Maintenance dredging is a routine part of our port operations to ensure the safe operation of shipping in our harbour. It involves the removal of sediments that have built up in existing channels, berths, approaches and associated swing basins.
At times, GPC disposes of maintenance dredge material at sea at the approved East Banks Sea Disposal Site in accordance with our Sea Dumping Permits issued by the Commonwealth Department of the Environment. Other approved land based reclamation areas are also utilised for the disposal of dredge material.
Our Monitoring and Management Plans describe the actions that GPC undertake to ensure that our maintenance dredging activities are undertaken in an environmentally responsible manner.
Permit Period 2018 to 2023:
Marina Maintenance Dredging Program
The Marina Maintenance Dredging Program is required to return the Marina berths to an acceptable depth to enable safe entry and exit, and minimise potential damage to vessels. The ideal depth for the Marina is 3 to 4 metres LAT (Lowest Astronomical Tide), with current depths at 1 - 1.5 metres LAT.
Port of Bundaberg
To maintain port depths for commercial shipping within the Port of Bundaberg, GPC undertakes annual maintenance dredging and occasionally emergency dredging following flood events in the Burnett River. GPC is committed to undertaking its dredging requirements in accordance with its dredging permits and its Long Term Management and Monitoring Plan (LTMMP) for Maintenance Dredging and Disposal, Port of Bundaberg 2012–2022 (Worley Parsons, 2010).
Under the LTMMP, GPC undertakes regular environmental monitoring including:
Water Quality Action 17
Gladstone Ports Corporation has worked with Queensland Ports Association (QPA) over the last 18 months on a study to address in the Water Quality Action 17 in the Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan.
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 by Dr Andy Symonds from Port and Coastal Solutions Pty Ltd.