A master plan to ensure the long-term growth of the Port of Gladstone and protect the Great Barrier Reef is being hailed an Australian first. The Port of Gladstone Master Plan was released last week and has been welcomed by Member for Gladstone, Glenn Butcher, who says the plan marks a milestone for the port.
“The Port of Gladstone is Queensland’s largest multi-commodity port and an important economic hub contributing significantly to regional jobs and the state’s economy,” Mr Butcher said. “This master plan addresses the UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s recommendations for the Outstanding Universal Value of the Great Barrier Reef.”
Mr Butcher explained the plan balances sustainable and economic development and manages cumulative impacts onto the Great Barrier Reef. He added that while balancing these issues is a challenging task the balance is being achieved with careful master-planning and legislation.
Gladstone Ports Corporation Chief Executive Officer, Peter O’Sullivan said the Port of Gladstone master plan balanced sustainable economic development with environmental and community values. “Gladstone Ports Corporation appreciates the Queensland Government’s efforts in involving the Corporation and Gladstone Regional Council in the preparation of the Port of Gladstone master plan,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the plan looked beyond the Port of Gladstone boundary to ensure port-related development is sustainably managed while protecting the Great Barrier Reef. He said the plan considers potential marine and land-based impacts, port and supply chain capacity and connectivity, and environmental and community values. “The plan was finalised after research and extensive consultation with Gladstone Ports Corporation, Gladstone Regional Council, state and federal agencies and other stakeholders,” Mr Bailey explained. “The next step is for the government to prepare a draft port overlay which clearly defines the regulatory and developmental considerations in the master planned area. All stakeholders and the community will be able to have their say on what this will look like.”
A copy of the priority Port of Gladstone master plan is available from www.tmr.qld.gov.au/SustainablePorts-Gladstone.