PORT of Townsville Limited (POTL) has released a draft of its long-term maintenance dredging management plan and is seeking community feedback.

The plan was prepared in accordance with Queensland and federal government frameworks and outlines POTL’s management approach for maintenance dredging at its ports and continual improvement in environmental performance for maintenance dredging.

The plan aims to capture all aspects associated with maintenance dredging and the placement of dredge material either on land or sea.

POTL CEO Ranee Crosby said both Townsville and Lucinda ports are within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and operate under significant environmental controls and a broad range of legislative processes to ensure port operations are managed with the highest of environmental standards

“The plan recognises the outstanding universal value of the Great Barrier Reef, has been developed on the foundations of the best available science, embodies the principles of ecologically sustainable development and implements best practices,” she said.

“The plan also incorporates Ports Australia’s code of practice and has been informed by extensive research and monitoring undertaken by the Port in Cleveland Bay, and by Queensland Ports Association under Reef 2050.”

The plan covers Townsville and Lucinda ports, which are both designated world heritage ports. However POTL notes that maintenance dredging is not currently undertaken at the Port of Lucinda, as the natural deep water at this site is adequate for sugar export operations, and this is not expected to change.

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In addition to direct engagement held with a range of key experts and stakeholders, POTL is now seeking public feedback on the draft plan to ensure community views are incorporated into the final document.

The plan will be used as a supporting document for future dredging and placement applications to Queensland and federal regulators.

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