MAINTENANCE dredging at the Port of Mackay was completed on schedule in late December.

North Queensland Bulk Ports CEO Nicolas Fertin said the specialist dredging vessel TSHD Brisbane would depart the port on Christmas eve.

“Completing the maintenance dredging on schedule was no mean feat in a marine environment where shipping schedules, tides and weather can all have an impact,” Mr Fertin said.

“The completion of the maintenance dredging ensures our port can continue to keep trade flowing through the New Year and beyond.”

NQBP said the dredging adhered to all relevant state and commonwealth permits, and in line with the Queensland Government Maintenance Dredging Strategy for Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area Ports.

About 140,000 cubic metres of natural sediment was removed from the Port of Mackay and placed at the approved dredge material placement area two kilometres north of Slade Islet.

Throughout the dredging, NQBP said it engaged with key stakeholders including the Mackay Technical Advisory and Consultative Committee. Members of the TACC include conservation groups, traditional owners, scientists, community, port users and commonwealth and state governments.

While dredging has been completed, minor bed-levelling works continued into January.

Mr Fertin thanked the Mackay community for their patience during the project and commended their approach to safety.

“Safety is at the forefront of everything we do, so we are pleased to report that no safety incidents were recorded,” he said.

“Our thanks go to Volunteer Marine Rescue Mackay for assisting NQBP to spread our safety messages before and during the maintenance dredging.”

NQBP has managed the maintenance dredging program at the port for more than 60 years.

The dredging works are part of a $17m package of infrastructure works being completed over the financial year, enhancing the port’s capacity to facilitate current and future trades.