Environment and Planning

Port of Townsville Limited (POTL) manage the ports of Townsville and Lucinda and both ports are located within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area operating within close proximity to a number of sensitive environments.   POTL operates under an Environmental Management System (EMS) accredited to International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 14001:2015 and is committed to the protection of the environment, and sustainable development and operation through responsible environmental management.  POTL strives to continually improve both environmental performance and the effectiveness of its controls via the EMS.

The Environment and Planning Team ensure all activities, approvals and developments undertaken by POTL are in accordance with environment and planning legislation, standards, and POTL’s own controls and EMS.  POTL is committed to the protection of the long term operation of its ports through:

  • Strong environmental management to protect the sensitive environments around the Port, working closely with customers and regulators to ensure current port operations and future port developments have no significant impact on surrounding sensitive environments.
  • Undertaking environmental monitoring and research programs to better understand and enhance the knowledge of our surroundings and improve knowledge for better management outcomes.
  • Meeting the day-to-day statutory planning objectives of the organisation and developing a strategic framework for the planning, and long term operation of the port, to respond to future growth requirements in a structured and sustainable manner.
  • Providing good planning outcomes and facilitating development in a functional and reliable manner to meet the needs of the customers and port users whilst considering the long term direction and intent of POTL.
  • Seeking approvals for day to day operations and future developments.
  • Responding to incidents and working with port customers.

Need further information or want to report something you're concerned about?

Contact the Port of Townsville's Manager Environment and Planning on 07 4781 1500 or email

Priority Port of Townsville draft Master Plan

The Queensland Government released the final Master plan for the priority Port of Townsville (master plan) and consultation report about the public consultation for the Draft master plan for the priority Port of Townsville, as required under the Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015 (Ports Act).

You can find a copy of the master plan and consultation report at:


About the master plan

The final Master plan for the priority Port of Townsville 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 while also providing for the protection of the Great Barrier Reef.  

The master plan also recognises the port is critical to the economic future of the region and establishes a foundation for economic activity generated by port industries and long-term investment for the region.

Draft port overlay now open for comment

A Draft port overlay for the priority Port of Townsville has been released for public consultation from 4 November to 16 December 2019.

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.

To view the draft port overlay and information about how to make a submission visit the TMR website at  

Public information sessions will be held in Townsville and on Magnetic Island to provide the community with the opportunity to talk to the project team about the draft port overlay. Details of these information sessions are available online at


Draft priority ports master planning guideline

The Draft priority ports master planning guideline was also released today for consultation. To review the document, visit

If you have any questions about the final master plan, the draft port overlay, and the master planning process please email

Management System (EMS)

The Environmental Management System (EMS) is the system through which the Port of Townsville Limited (POTL) controls its activities, products and services that have the potential to cause, environmental impacts at either the Port of Townsville or Port of Lucinda.

The EMS is an important tool that assists the Port to monitor and continuously improve its environmental performance, and  ensure compliance with legislative requirements. The EMS helps structure the  integration of environmental management into POTL's daily operations, long term strategic planning as well as linkage to other management systems (e.g. the Quality and Safety Management Systems).

The EMS is currently certified to  International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 14001:2015, an internationally recognised externally audited Environmental Management System standard.  Further information about ISO 14001:2015 can be found on the ISO website.

Key benefits of having an EMS  are:

  • Improvement of environmental performance
  • Robust system to consistently quantify, monitor  and control impacts
  • Structured management of environmental risks
  • Ensure legislative compliance and maintenance of  all records
  • Incorporation of sustainability initiatives e.g.  Waste minimisation

The Port of Townsville Environmental Policy outlines what the Port intends to achieve through the implementation and  ongoing improvement of its performance via the EMS.

Continuous improvement of our EMS is achieved through following the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle whereby the Port continually reviews and revises the system.

A high level summary of the EMS is shown in the document pyramid below. The EMS consists of a network of procedures, plans, work instructions, forms and records under the overarching Environmental Policy.

Cruise Schedule

A Federal Government restriction is current for all international cruise ships entering into Australian waters until 17 December 2020.