The Australian Government will invest a further $600,000 in the health of the Gladstone Harbour.
This will build on the $1 million already committed to ensure that the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership continues to guide environmental management and improvement.
The announcement, made by Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt, has been welcomed by federal member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd, who praised the harbour’s natural beauty and the need to engage in conservation efforts.
“Gladstone Harbour is home to fantastic natural beauty, including the Great Barrier Reef, and it is our responsibility to ensure that we give it the proper care,” Mr O’Dowd said.
“This funding will greatly benefit conservation efforts to keep the harbour healthy for a long time to come.”
The Port of Gladstone, in operation for 60 years, is the largest bulk commodity port in Queensland.
The Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership brings together representatives from community, industry, science, government, statutory bodies and management sectors to ensure Gladstone has a healthy and accessible harbour.
Its guiding principles include open, honest and accountable management, annual reporting on the health of the Gladstone Harbour, and management recommendations and actions based on rigorous science and strong stakeholder engagement.
The Partnership has also received funding from the Queensland Government, matched by industry, community, research and local government.
Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt said he understands that the maintenance of the Great Barrier Reef is an important issue for Central Queensland.
“We all have a common goal—protecting and managing the Great Barrier Reef for current and future generations,” he said.
“It is critical that we ensure that the management and operations of Australia’s sixth largest bulk commodity port within the iconic Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area is best practice.”
The Australian Government has permanently banned dumping of material from capital dredging projects into the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
In August the Australian Government released its response to the Independent Review of the Port of Gladstone, its supplementary report and the Independent Review of the Bund Wall at the Port of Gladstone.
It has agreed or agreed in principle with all the recommendations of this review that fall within the Australian Government’s jurisdiction. Many of the recommendations in the reports are already being addressed through such initiatives as the comprehensive strategic assessment, the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership, and effective bilateral environmental assessment processes.