A map of the proposed plans for two channel duplication projects within the Gladstone Harbour.
A map of the proposed plans for two channel duplication projects within the Gladstone Harbour.

Environmentalist against port project

AN ENVIRONMENTAL group is accusing Gladstone Ports Corporation of repeating the mistakes of previous dredging projects in its proposed channel duplication.

The comments come after GPC released the final Environmental Impact Statement for the Port of Gladstone Gatcombe and Golding Cutting Channel Duplication Project.

The $760-million project involves dredging 12.85 million cubic metres to make the port's existing bypass channels 16m deep and 200m wide.

The EIS said the project had the potential to impact water quality, seagrass, turtles, shorebirds and marine values.

A Gladstone Conservation Council spokeswoman said the project was effectively a repeat of the 2013 Western Basin Dredging and Disposal project.

"There are clear signals that the lessons of the past dredging programs have not been learned," she said.

"We should not accept that things are going to be different unless clear controls are in place and the authority to halt activities is given to an independent community body."

A GPC spokeswoman said a diligent assessment of potential impacts was undertaken for the project through the EIS process over many years.

"The long lead-in times required for planning and preparation - including environmental baseline data collection, impact assessment and government approvals - is why GPC have progressed the project's EIS well in advance of any work occurring," she said.

The spokeswoman said the project was compliant with The Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015 - a legal framework to balance the protection of the Great Barrier Reef and development of Queensland ports.

"Among other initiatives, the Port Act prohibits the sea-based placement of port-related capital dredged material within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

"(The project) complies with the Ports Act and will be delivered under stringent environmental guidelines..."