Three bodies will be established to form the governance structure of the Channel Upgrade capital dredge campaign at the Port of Townsville, namely:
- A Capital Dredging Implementation Committee (CDIC) which will oversee the operational and logistical issues of the capital dredge campaign and interact where necessary with the other committees with respect to the capital dredge campaign. It is noted that the port will have a common member on all committees to share, update and relay information.
- A Compliance Regulatory Oversight Committee (CROC) which will review and approve plans required by approval conditions and strategies as well as provide regulatory advice and oversee compliance with the approval conditions and the environment monitoring programs during the capital dredge campaign.
- An Independent Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC) which will review and advise on the scientific and technical aspects of the development of the DMP, monitoring programs and other mitigation strategies as well as provide independent collaboration of the monitoring results during the capital dredge campaign.
The ITAC members have an interest in dredging and dredge material placement activities and will provide scientific or technical input in identifying or addressing local environmental aspects relating to dredging and dredge material placement preferably within Cleveland Bay. The approval conditions associated with the Channel Upgrade identify specialist areas which must be represented on the ITAC and specialists from other areas may be required to consider specific items of interest. The ITAC are appointed, funded, organised and provided secretariat services by the Channel Upgrade project team and will comprise of:
- An Independent Chair;
- Recognised scientific and technical specialists with expertise in water quality, coral ecosystems, seagrass ecosystems, marine megafauna, coastal hydrodynamics and sediment transportation (as stated in approval conditions) and other specialist areas as required;
- A recognised technical specialist in dredging operations; and
- Members of the Channel Upgrade project team, including the Channel Upgrade Project Manager (or nominated CU delegate), the Channel Upgrade Environmental Advisors and other team members as required.
The ITAC is not intended to duplicate the responsibilities of existing Commonwealth or Queensland regulatory agencies. For clarity, no government representatives will sit on the ITAC to ensure that any assessment process under the legislation is completely separate to any advice, engagement or review process undertaken by the ITAC.
The role of the ITAC is to:
- Provide independent, expert-based advice regarding the scopes of work for the ecological surveys and the development of water quality and ecological trigger levels with consideration of the current condition and tolerances of coral and seagrasses;
- Provide independent, expert-based input on the scientific basis underlying the RMP and the contingency measures in the DMP;
- Review and endorse the RMP, particularly the control and impact monitoring locations, the monitoring design and trigger levels for corrective actions; and the contingency measures in the DMP;
- Provide independent oversight of the implementation of the RMP;
- Review the environmental performance of the Channel Upgrade capital dredge campaign against trigger levels and other legislative criteria;
- Evaluate corrective actions implemented;
- Provide a contact point for the community and regulators in relation to the Channel Upgrade capital dredge campaign in order to aid communication between stakeholders; and
- Provide comments, where required, on relevant media releases for statements for factual soundness.
Representatives from the community will be able to attend ITAC meetings as Observers with the approval of the Independent Chair (details below).