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Environmental and cultural heritage management

Environmental management has played a significant role in the planning and design stages of the Mackay Ring Road (Stage 1). During construction, environmental issues are managed through a detailed Environmental Management Plan.

Noise and vibration

During detailed design of the project, an operational noise assessment was undertaken in compliance with Transport Noise Management Code of Practice Volume 1 – Road Traffic Noise. The results of this assessment have assisted in determining the permanent noise abatement solutions to be implemented to reduce impacts to affected property owners.

Noise monitoring is also being undertaken at sensitive places adjacent to the project alignment to assist in quantifying construction noise impacts. The results will help to determine the most appropriate mitigation measures to reduce impacts where possible. Noise management measures implemented during construction include:


To provide a baseline to be utilised to assess dust impacts during construction, initial dust monitoring has been undertaken at sensitive places adjacent to the project alignment.

The generation of dust during construction is being minimised by:

  • use of water carts to wet down haul roads and disturbed surfaces
  • retaining existing vegetation where possible
  • use of temporary soil polymers for application to the surface of areas that have a high risk of dust creation; and
  • covering loads when transporting material, where required.

Works within waterways

The project includes the construction of major bridges over the Pioneer River and the Fursden Creek floodplain. An Operational Works Development Approval for the construction of the new Pioneer River bridge has been obtained from the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning under the Planning Act 2016. The Development Approval contains conditions that must be complied with for the following triggers:

  • prescribed tidal works
  • removal, destruction or damage of marine plants; and
  • waterway barrier works.

The project has also been issued an Environmental Authority for the extraction of sand from within the Pioneer River. This sand is being utilised to build a bund partially across the Pioneer River to assist in the construction of the new bridge.

Native vegetation clearing

To allow for construction, native vegetation clearing is required at Lagoon Creek and the Pioneer River. Specialised fauna spotters are engaged to identify native animals prior to clearing, and vegetation is only removed after any animals have been relocated.

Permanent landscaping will include the re-establishment of native plant species along sections of the alignment to assist in offsetting any impacts as a result of native vegetation clearing.

Weed management

Strict environmental management conditions are applied to all road construction projects. Before the commencement of construction, a weed survey is undertaken to identify the presence of any declared and locally significant weeds, to allow for a project specific weed management plan to be developed.

Environmental management practices undertaken by the project include routine inspections of material and the project footprint; implementation of weed mitigation strategies; treatment of weed species; and compliance with bio-security hygiene practices.

Cultural heritage management

To ensure appropriate management of Indigenous, historical, shared and natural heritage found during construction, local traditional owners’ representatives identify potential areas of significance within the project footprint. Prior to any ground disturbance, local traditional owner consultants inspect the work area and provide approval for ground works to commence. These inspections help protect cultural heritage.

If artefacts are discovered on the project, the local traditional owner consultants work closely with the project team to either allow for further investigation or to manage the relocation of the artefact to another site of cultural significance.

Media Gallery

Image of a bund site on Mackay Ring Road Project
Construction of a bund on Pioneer River.

Image of capturing and treating stormwater run off on Mackay Ring Road project
Capturing and treating storm water run-off.

Image of erosion and sediment controls after heavy rainfall on Mackay Ring Road project
Erosion and sediment controls after heavy rainfall.

Last updated
19 March 2020