THE Queensland government has announced a policy that would ban transhipping in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and restrict transhipping operations in the World Heritage Area to only zones that are declared ports.
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said the policy would require “appropriate environmental authorities” for transhipping outside of the park.
“This policy is about protecting Queensland’s precious and sensitive marine environments and minimising cumulative impacts on the reef, by focusing marine activities in the Great Barrier Reef region to existing ports,” she said, noting that the policy would not affect shipping of cargo loaded in the state’s ports.
“We are committed to avoiding unnecessary impacts on communities, and this is why the policy will not apply to the supply of essential services to remote communities, marine emergency response practices, the movement of cargo between vessels while docked in a port, and refuelling activities,” she said.
“In addition, the policy does not apply to packaged or containerised goods at any volume or to bulk materials where the quantity handled is under 100 tonnes per day.”
Ms Enoch said 2246 public submissions were received during the consultation period.
“More than 2200 of these – or 97% – called for limits to transhipping within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, and for the banning of transhipping within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park itself,” Ms Enoch said.
The state government said it was developing necessary regulations and further consultation will occur once that is progressed.