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Department of Transport and Main Roads

Sustainable port development and operation


Sustainability and our ports

Queensland port government owned corporations are committed to economic, environmental and social sustainability through:

  • efficient operation of the ports to deliver financial and economically sustainable benefits for Queensland
  • strategic and responsible planning for resilience into the future
  • sustainable port development and maintenance with a focus on continuous improvement to minimise environmental impacts
  • sustainably managing strategic infrastructure and assets
  • facilitating regional trade to support regional development
  • forging enduring connections and integration with communities in which the ports operate.

Balancing port development and protection of the reef

With most Queensland trading ports operating in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA), it is essential to balance the development of the state's ports and the protection of the Great Barrier Reef. This balance is being achieved under a policy and legislative framework, which includes:

  • Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan (Reef 2050 Plan): the overarching framework released by the Australian and Queensland Governments in 2015 and reviewed in mid-2018
  • Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015 (Ports Act): the legislative framework that:
    • meets actions under the Reef 2050 Plan
    • addresses management of port-related development, especially around dredging 
    • requires master planning for priority ports. 

The Ports Act requires master planning for Queensland's 4 priority ports—the ports of Gladstone, Townsville, Hay Point/Mackay and Abbot Point.

Read more information about port master planning

Last updated 23 June 2023