Project Schedule

Channel Upgrade Overview

The Channel Upgrade will be delivered over a period of six years from 2018 to 2023. Under the deliver schedule, it will create 120 FTE jobs in Townsville during construction and support 245 Full Time Equivalent jobs in Queensland.

The Townsville Port Channel Upgrade is a joint project of the Queensland and Australian Governments and Port of Townsville Limited. The Channel Upgrade forms part of the Townsville City Deal signed in December 2016.

Several principles were established to guide the procurement and delivery methodology for the project including:

  • Minimise disruption to commercial shipping in the channel and harbour
  • Maximise flexibility of works delivery for weather events (eg. cyclones) over the duration of construction
  • Ensure construction works are aligned with environmental approvals and conditions across the Port Expansion Project AEIS and quarry approvals
  • Maximise whole of life asset cost

The Channel Upgrade project will take about 5 years in total. The first year will be preparation works, followed by rock supply and construction of reclamation area. Capital dredging for channel widening will complete the project.

The majority of channel widening activity will occur closer to the Port. Only 10 percent of channel widening activity will occur in the sea channel.

Delivery Schedule

Rock Haulage

In line with the Channel Upgrade Project delivery model, haulage of rock for the construction of the rock wall around the 62ha Port Reclamation Area started in the first half of 2019. The trucking route is along the Flinders Highway from third-party quarries west of Townsville, then along the Port Access Road (South Port Road) to the Port of Townsville. This route minimises disturbance for local residents.

Trucking of rock is being delivered over a 20-month during daylight hours Monday to Saturday. No rock haulage will occur on Sundays.

Over approximately 20 months, the Port of Townsville will have 850 thousand tonnes of rock delivered from local suppliers for the Channel Upgrade Project. The rock will be used in the construction of the rock wall that will bund the 62-hectare Port Reclamation Area.

Local contractors are being engaged for rock haulage from quarries west of Townsville to the Port of Townsville.


Local trucking contractors are also engaged to transport rock from local quarries to the Port.

Capital Dredging

Most of the capital dredging (about 80%) will be carried out using a mechanical dredge. A mechanical dredge is an excavator (like you would see on a land-based building site) which sits on top of a barge. The mechanical dredge is an excavator mounted onto a pontoon which digs material from the sea bed and puts it onto a waiting barge. The barge then moves the material to the reclamation area to the east of the Port.

The use of an excavator enables solid and compact material to be removed from the seabed which is transported by barge to the port reclamation area. Dredging using a mechanical in some circumstances may be slower than other types of dredgers, however, it provides the best environmental outcomes for Cleveland Bay.

All of the capital dredge material removed during the Channel Capacity Upgrade Project is beneficially reused. 

All capital dredge material will be moved to the Port Reclamation Area to create more land for the Port’s future developments. This re-use of the capital dredge material is in accordance with the Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015 and Australia’s UNESCO 2050 commitments.

Community and Stakeholder Engagement Plan

As per the conditions in the Coordinator General's evaluation, a Community and Stakeholder Engagement Plan (CSEP) has been developed...

Community is made up of the people who live, work, visit or operate in the Port of Townsville and greater region. Community Engagement is the process through which the community are informed about and/or invited to contribute, through consultation or involvement, to proposals or policy changes relating to Channel Upgrade.


The Channel Upgrade CSEP will ensure that:
• The Port has the opportunity to consider the input of a wide range of community members before making decisions;
• Community members are given the opportunity to contribute to the planning and development process.

The plan will:
• Establish a standard process for community engagement;
• Ensure that the process is implemented by the port and external consultants employed by the port;
• Ensure that inclusive and efficient consultation is undertaken at all times;
• Ensure that the community is kept informed of decisions emanating from community engagement. 





For Further Information about Channel Upgrade Project

call Toll Free 1800 531 561

For general enquiries about the Port of Townsville

call (07) 4781 1500

Cruise Schedule

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