HALL Contracting’s backhoe dredge Woomera has left Gladstone after the completion of the Ports Corporation’s Clinton Vessel Interaction Project.

The dredge arrived in March, along with support vessels, to work on GPC’s program to deliver what it characterises as “a permanent safety solution” to the close passing of vessels in the Clinton Channel.

Acting CEO Craig Walker said the CVIP had widened the channel by approximately 100 metres was the result of detailed planning and significant investigations to explore options to improve vessel interaction safety.

It was delivered under stringent environmental guidelines and, in a first for GPC, live environmental monitoring data was made available via the GPC website.

“Throughout the project, we completed ongoing water turbidity (water clarity) and light monitoring at a range of sites across Port Curtis. We also closely monitored sensitive receptors like seagrass to ensure the marine ecosystem remained healthy,” he said.

Hall Contracting CEO Cameron said “We know projects like this not only create jobs and contribute to the local economy, they also build capacity across the industry. The project team –and the Woomera –have delivered this project safely, on time and in accordance with stringent environmental requirements, and we are proud of our achievements.”

Further north, North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) has applied for permits to enable the continuation of maintenance dredging at the Port of Weipa.

The 10-year permit application, to be assessed by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE), will allow NQBP to continue its maintenance dredging program when needed until 2031.

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NQBP CEO Nicolas Fertin said NQBP’s assessment reports found the risks to sensitive marine environments as a result of the maintenance dredging were predominantly low when managed appropriately.

It is proposed that the overall maximum dredging volume for the 10-year permit would be approximately 10.8 million cubic metres.

One change to the permit, if approved, would be the relocation of the existing Dredge Material Placement Area (DMPA).

Currently located in Albatross Bay, it is proposed to shift the DMPA two kilometres west into deeper water to facilitate access for dredge vessels and to provide additional storage capacity for the next 10 years.

The most recent maintenance dredging program at Weipa was successfully completed in June this year. NQBP has managed the annual maintenance dredging program at Weipa for more than 30 years.

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