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Real time monitors keep an eye on Cleveland Bay
Data from real time water quality monitoring equipment deployed in Cleveland Bay is for the first time available online on the Port of Townsville website. The monitors measure water quality, temperature, conductivity (saltiness of water) and turbidity approximately one meter below the water surface. The Port of Townsville has undertaken long term water quality monitoring programs in Cleveland Bay for more than 15 years and sharing it with the community and researchers but this program enables everyone to access the latest information about the Bay in real time. Port of Townsville General Manager Infrastructure and Environment Marissa Wise said the monitoring buoys, which use the latest in technical advancements, gave a nod to history. ``The monitor Beagle, located at Geoffrey Bay, Magnetic Island was named by the Port of Townsville’s Community Liaison Group to reflect regional and port history. HMS BEAGLE was a survey ship that surveyed these waters in 1841 on its first voyage, on the second voyage of the vessel the naturalist Charles Darwin was aboard, and this was his trip of discovery,” Ms Wise said. The second monitor is attached to a channel marker in Cleveland Bay. Each underwater probe has a mechanical wiper to prevent biofouling of the sensors. Raw data from the sensors is collected every fifteen minutes and transmitted by mobile network to a data server. Data is then averaged over the hour and made available on the website. ``It is part of Townsville Port’s commitment to continue our long-term approach to monitoring in Cleveland Bay and make this data available publicly to allow a much greater understanding of how Cleveland Bay marine system operates. ``The monitoring network is the most advanced and extensive marine equipment to be installed by Port of Townsville. The equipment, locations and dashboards, were co-developed with the Community Liaison Group, with representatives from GBRMPA, Aquascene, Townsville local residents, Magnetic Island Residents and Ratepayers Association, Regional Development Australia, SES, Rotary, and Association of Marine Tourism Operators,” she said.
Port announces $10m in new contracts
The Port of Townsville has announced two major contracts for the $193 million Channel Upgrade Project; the largest infrastructure project in the Port’s 156 year history. The contracts, worth a total of more than $10 million, are for rock wall construction and rock delivery. Queensland company Hall Contracting will build a 2.2km rock wall, forming a protective bund around a 62-hectare Port Reclamation Area at the eastern end of the Port. Port of Townsville General Manager Infrastructure and Environment Marissa Wise said that the project attracted highly competitive submissions from the market. "Rock wall construction requires a high level of skill and experience in marine civil construction. It’s a specialised field and Hall Contracting has proved that it has the required expertise. The construction of the rock wall will precede the widening of the Townsville shipping channel which is scheduled to start in 2021 and be completed in 2023," Ms Wise said. Marine projects undertaken by Hall Contracting in North Queensland include the widening of the Cairns shipping channel in 2019 as well as dredging the Ross River channel in Townsville. Hall Contracting CEO Cameron Hall says his Queensland-based company will employ a workforce of 21-people to construct the rock wall. "We’re a proud Queensland company that will be recruiting locally in Townsville, as well as using Townsville businesses for a range of goods and services including fleet maintenance, fuel supplies and diving services," Mr Hall said. In addition to Holcim Australia’s existing contract to supply rock from its Roseneath quarry west of Townsville, HY-TEC’s quarry at Calcium has been contracted to supply 43 thousand tonnes of rock. The transport route will be via the Flinders Highway then the Port Access Road. "Having two local rock suppliers contracted to the project ensures that we will have a continuous supply of core, secondary and primary armour for the rock wall," said Ms Wise. Executive General Manager at HY-TEC, Brett Brown, says that the company has a strong track record in delivering rock to major projects in North Queensland. "Our quarry at Calcium is ideally placed to provide rock to large marine construction projects like the Townsville Channel Upgrade, and we’re proud to play a role in this significant Port expansion," said Mr Brown. Environmental management, costing an additional $17 million, is focusing on marine water monitoring, turtles, inshore dolphins, sea grasses, corals and shore birds as part of the overall project. 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. Fast Facts about the Channel Upgrade Project: Rock wall construction is expected to take approximately 12 months. The rock wall will extend approximately 550 metres seaward, with the northern side approximately 1,100 metres in length. When the Channel Upgrade Project is completed in 2023, cruise, commercial and naval vessels up to 300 metres in length will be able to safely access the Port of Townsville. Before Channel widening, the length limit has been 238 metres. The Port will also have an extra 62-hectares of land on which to build infrastructure. The Channel Upgrade Project is jointly funded by the Queensland and the Australian governments ($75 million each) and the Port of Townsville Ltd ($43 million).