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Background

The $1.6 billion Port Expansion Project (PEP) is a long-term development plan for the port. It includes capital dredging for channel widening, land reclamation to develop a new outer harbour, wharves, and associated infrastructure to be constructed by 2040. 

The expansion will increase the capacity of the existing shipping channels to allow safer and more efficient access for larger post Panamax size vessels to attract new trading opportunities. It will also facilitate an evolution of the layout and functionality of port land use to maximise the efficiency of operations, and accommodate improved integration of supply chain connections and functionality.  

 


The Queensland Coordinator General granted approval of the AEIS in October 2017, and the Federal Government’s Department of Environment granted approval in February 2018.

Timeline of Approvals and Future Milestones


Environmental Assessment Update Process: EIS/AEIS Finalized

The Port Expansion Project has been assessed by both the Queensland and Australian Governments under separate state and Commonwealth environmental impact assessment processes. The potential environmental impacts of the project have been subject to detailed assessment and approval by the Queensland and Australian Governments in accordance with legislation. This provides certainty that the environmental impacts have been fully considered and will be controlled through conditions on development. The Environmental Impact Statement for the Port Expansion Project was assessed and approved to proceed with conditions by the Australian Government on 5 February 2018 for capital dredging, land reclamation, and infrastructure construction. 

The Project underwent a design refinement process in direct response to submissions received following a public consultation process and the changes that occurred in Government policy and legislation since the original EIS was completed (around the placement of capital dredge material).

Additional Information to the Environmental Impact Statement

An Additional Information to the Environmental Impact Statement (AEIS) dated October 2016 WAS prepared in response to submissions and the request to provide further clarification on matters raised during the public consultation period of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The AEIS does not seek to duplicate the EIS but rather to complement the existing assessment by providing additional clarification on specific matters raised during the public consultation period, including Project design refinements.

 EIS / AEIS DOCUMENTS

The AEIS provides:

  • A summary of submissions received during the public consultation period of the EIS
  • Response to the submissions
  • An overview of legislative changes since the release of the EIS and subsequent impacts on the project
  • An outline of project design refinements since release of the EIS due to project progression, legislative changes and submissions
  • Corrections to the publicly advertised EIS

The refined project:

  • Avoids sea disposal with all capital dredge material beneficially reused in the outer harbour reclamation footprint
  • Has no direct impact in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park General Use Zone due to channel widening and through only partially deepening the channel
  • Includes a changed dredging methodology that reduces the bulking of dredged material in order to bring all material to land and reduce the size of the reclamation area
  • Proposed dredge methodology will result in reduced water quality impacts during capital dredging
  • Has incorporated Berth 12 as it forms a critical component of the outer harbour swing basin (previously, the EIS had assumed that the approved Berth 12 project will be constructed ahead of the PEP, however the introduction of the Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015 has affected the Berth 12 approval leading to its inclusion in the revised design)

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Investors

Located 1,360 kilometres north of Brisbane, The Port of Townsville is a world-class gateway for trade and investment.