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Priority Port of Townsville - Master Plan

Page last updated on 14-07-2021.

Priority Port of Townsville - Master Plan

The Queensland Government has released the final Master plan for the priority Port of Townsville (Master Plan), as required under the Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015 (Ports Act).

The final Master Plan sets out the long-term plan for the sustainable development of the priority Port of Townsville until the year 2050, balancing economic growth for the region whilst also providing for the protection of the Great Barrier Reef.  It also recognises the Port of Townsville is critical to the economic future of the region and established a foundation for economic activity generated by port industries and long-term investment for the region.  Under the Ports Act, the port overlay is the regulatory instrument that implements the master plan to guide future development to achieve the long-term vision of the Master Plan.

Master planning for the priority Port of Townsville was a collaborative process undertaken by Department of Transport and Main Roads with the Port, Townsville City Council, state and federal agencies, and other key stakeholders in accordance with the Ports Act.

The Master Plan is a strategic document that has a long-term outlook for the sustainable development of the port through to 2050. Long-term master planning provides a strategic and coordinated approach to managing port-related development and considers issues including marine and land-based impacts, port and supply chain infrastructure optimisation. This plan aligns with key projects associated with the ongoing sustainable development of the Port. These include the Channel Upgrade Project, Townsville City Deal, the proposed Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor and supporting mineral freight exports from the North West Minerals Province. 

The priority Port of Townsville master plan includes a master planned area which encompasses a total area of about 16,500 hectares. The master planned area includes land and marine areas required for the efficient development and operation of the port. The inclusion of land and marine areas supports the management of potential impacts on the OUV of the GBRWHA and other environmental values that may occur as a result of port development and operations.

The master planned area includes strategic port land under the Transport Infrastructure Act 1994 and:

  • land within the Townsville State Development Area
  • land within the Townsville City Waterfront Priority Development Area
  • land within the Townsville City Council local government area
  • marine areas within port limits but outside State and Commonwealth marine parks.

Where possible, the boundary of the master planned area has been established to avoid areas that contain significant environmental values. Seven precincts within the master planned area outline the long-term intent for specific areas. The precinct approach supports cumulative impact management within the master planned area by identifying areas with environmental values where development should be limited, as well as separate areas that may be suitable for infrastructure and port-related development.

The Port overlay for the priority Port of Townsville is the regulatory instrument that implements the master plan for the master planned area. It provides requirements for land use planning and development decisions in the master planned area. The port overlay operates alongside existing planning instruments and only regulates development in the master planned area if additional requirements are necessary to implement the master plan. It has effect from 1 February 2021.

Master Plan     Master Plan Fact Sheet     Priority Ports Master Planning Guideline

Port Overlay     Port Overlay Fact Sheet