GLADSTONE'S port master plan is open for public input in the latest milestone for an initiative that will drive economic development in and around Gladstone's port and protect the Great Barrier Reef, the Queensland Government announced last week.
Minister for State Development Anthony Lynham said the draft master plan sets out growth opportunities and an environmental management framework to ensure job-generating sustainable development.
"Master planning for the priority Port of Gladstone will set the course for growth at Queensland's largest multi-cargo port," Dr Lynham said.
"The plan identifies a vision for the area to 2050, including a sharp focus on protecting our iconic reef and safeguarding the outstanding universal value of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area well into the future."
Gladstone is the first of Queensland's four priority ports to reach the draft master plan stage under laws introduced by the State Government in 2015. Those laws put into effect the government's key port-related commitments in the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan.
Master planning has started at Townsville, and preliminary processes are under way for Abbot Point and Hay Point/Mackay.
Dr Lynham said the Gladstone draft master plan:
- Identified opportunities for growth at the port to 2050;
- Proposed a master planned area important for the future of the priority Port of Gladstone and its associated industries;
- Identified precincts within this area for sustainable development and environmental management, both land and marine; and
- Sets out the environmental management framework to guide how opportunities can be harnessed while managing the environmental values in and around the master planned area, including potential cumulative impacts on Reef values.
"Priority ports represent the engines of our economy and master plans will be blueprints on their sustainable development, boosting investor confidence and job growth," Dr Lynham said.
"We have been working with Gladstone Ports Corporation, the local council, state agencies, the Australian Government and key industry and community groups to prepare the draft master plan, and we are now inviting the community to have its say.
"Master planning will ensure our priority ports—critical transport nodes for our economic strength—will support development of essentials for future growth including shipping channels, swing basins and berth pockets, as well as roads, rail lines, gas and water pipelines and power lines."
Submissions on the draft master plan close on Monday 9 October 2017 and Dr Lynham said a final master plan and final master planned area will be finalised by mid-2018. More information is available from the Department of State Development website at <http://statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/industry-development/sustainable-port-development.html>.