The Queensland Government is leading master planning for the priority ports of Gladstone, Abbot Point, Townsville and Hay Point/Mackay.
Master planning for priority ports is a port-related action of Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan (Reef 2050) and mandated under the Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015 (Ports Act).
Master planning processes for the priority ports will ensure:
- the Outstanding Universal Value of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area is an intrinsic consideration in future port development, management and governance
- optimisation of the use of infrastructure at the long-established major ports
- transparent decision making
- meaningful engagement with stakeholders.
Historically, planning for Queensland's ports has focussed on land uses within the bounds of strategic port land.
In an Australian first, priority port master planning will require consideration of issues beyond strategic port land including supply chain capacity and connectivity, potential impacts on marine and land-based environments and community values within and surrounding the master planned area.
The objective is to optimise the use of infrastructure and address operational, economic, environmental and community relationships, as well as supply chains and surrounding land uses.
Through mandatory priority port master planning Queensland will:
- set the standard for port master planning, being the first state to coordinate planning and sustainable port development beyond the port boundary
- be the first state to require consultation with stakeholders and the community on the future direction of priority ports
- protect areas for future essentials that a growing port will require, such as shipping channels, swing basins and berth pockets, as well as land corridors for roads, rail lines, gas and water pipelines and power lines.
Priority port master planning will support the sustainable development of critical economic infrastructure, the state's priority ports, in a way that will balance growth, job creation, environmental values and community interests.
Priority port master planning process
The Queensland Government is leading priority port master planning working closely with port authorities, local governments and other key stakeholders. Public consultation will be conducted as an important part of the priority port master planning process.
Master planning timeframes will depend on the nature of each priority port.
Each priority port master plan will have a long-term outlook to 2050, coinciding with the outlook of Reef 2050.
A review of each priority port master plan must be undertaken at a minimum of every 10 years.
Master planning for the priority Port of Gladstone is advancing. From 28 August 2017 to 9 October 2017 the draft master planfor the priority Port of Gladstone was released for public consultation. Submissions are currently being considered with a view to preparing a final master plan and master planned area.
Master planning for the priority Port of Townsville formally commenced with a notice of proposal issued in early 2017. The evidence base for master planning is currently being prepared in consultation with key stakeholders and will support the future preparation of the draft master plan and draft port overlay.
Preliminary master planning processes for the priority ports of Abbot Point and Hay Point/Mackay are underway.