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Dredging Information

Page last updated on 12-02-2024.

Dredging Information

The Channel Upgrade project reached a significant milestone with the largest Australian owned backhoe dredge Woomera commencing dredging operations in Cleveland Bay on 15 March, 2022.

Woomera is working to widen Townsville's 14.9km shipping channel from 92 metres to 180 metres at the inshore (Port) end, tapering to 120 metres at the seaward end.

All dredged material will be placed on barges and transported back to a Temporary Unloading Facility on the western side of the new rock wall for placement in the 62 hectare reclamation area.

Dredging is expected to take two years and upon completion ships up to 300 metres long will be able to safely access the Port, instead of bypassing Townsville.

Information for boaties

The Regional Harbour Master has declared a Marine Restricted Area around the dredge as Townsville's shipping channel is widened.

Mariners are advised:

  • Stay at least 100 metres away from the dredge and barges
  • Cardinal marks will be placed around Woomera to mark the Restricted Area
  • Dredging will occur 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Barges will transport dredge material to a jetty on the new rock wall
  • Be aware of increased marine traffic and observe all speed limits
  • Tune in to VHF 16 & 22 when out on the water

View the latest Notice to Mariners

Dredge location weekly schedule:

12 February 2024

Backhoe dredge Woomera is working at the Harbour Entrance near the Eastern Breakwater wall.

A construction zone is in place for your safety. Stay outside the yellow and black cardinal marks.

Location updates will be provided regularly via VHF channel 16 so you can plan your trips with minimal disruption.

The location of Woomera, barges Hall 1 and Hall 2 and support vessels are also visible on the Port of Townsville's live vessel tracker.