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Master planning for the priority Port of Townsville

Port of Townsville
Photo courtesy of the Port of Townsville Limited.

The Queensland Government is leading master planning for the priority Port of Townsville, in accordance with the Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015 (Ports Act) and the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan (Reef 2050 Plan).

About the port

The priority Port of Townsville is a critical northern gateway for the state's trade and investment. It is the largest general cargo and container port in Northern Australia and Australia's leading exporter of copper, zinc, lead and sugar.

The port was established in 1864 to service the local community, pastoral areas, the sugar industry and regional goldfields. International trade through the port is now valued at around $9 billion annually with over 30 different commodities from high value minerals to products such as sugar and fertiliser exported through the port.

The port supports a wide range of industry sectors, including resources, energy and agriculture whilst providing an increasingly strategic role in Australia's defence capabilities. It also plays a vital role in tourism for the region.

Read more about the priority Port of Townsville.

Master plan

On 4 November 2019, the Queensland Government released the final master plan and master planned area for the priority Port of Townsville.

The Master plan for the priority Port of Townsville is a strategic document that has a long-term outlook for the sustainable development of the port through to 2050. Long-term master planning provides a strategic and coordinated approach to managing port-related development and considers issues including marine and land-based impacts, port and supply chain infrastructure optimisation.

The master plan looks beyond the port boundary to ensure port-related development is sustainably managed while protecting the Great Barrier Reef.

The master plan aligns with key projects associated with the ongoing sustainable development of the port. These include the Channel Upgrade Project, Townsville City Deal, the proposed Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor and supporting mineral freight exports from the North West Minerals Province. 

A fact sheet about the master plan for the priority Port of Townsville is available. 
 
If you require a hard copy of the master plan, please email TownsvillePortMasterPlan@tmr.qld.gov.au or call 13 23 80* (fees for hard copies may apply).  
 
* Check with your service provider for call costs.

Master planned area

The priority Port of Townsville master plan includes a master planned area, which encompasses a total area of about 16,500 hectares.

The master planned area includes land and marine areas required for the efficient development and operation of the port. The inclusion of land and marine areas supports the management of potential impacts on the OUV of the GBRWHA and other environmental values that may occur as result of port development and operations.

The master planned area includes strategic port land under the Transport Infrastructure Act 1994 and:

  • land within the Townsville State Development Area
  • land within the Townsville City Waterfront Priority Development Area
  • land within the Townsville City Council local government area
  • marine areas within ports limits but outside State and Commonwealth marine parks.

Where possible, the boundary of the master planned area has been established to avoid areas that contain significant environmental values.

Seven precincts within the master planned area outline the long-term intent for specific areas. The precinct approach supports cumulative impact management within the master planned area by identifying areas with environmental values where development should be limited, as well as separate areas that may be suitable for infrastructure and port-related development.

Townsville Master Planning Area and Precincts
Click for larger version of the priority Port of Townsville map

How the master plan was developed

The Queensland Government has released the Master plan for the priority Port of Townsville following consideration of submissions received during public consultation on the Draft master plan for the priority Port of Townsville.

From 5 November 2018 to 17 December 2018, the Draft master plan for the priority Port of Townsville was released for public consultation along with supporting information in accordance with the Ports Act. The draft master plan was prepared in consultation with the Port of Townsville Ltd, Townsville City Council, state and federal agencies, and other key stakeholders.  

The public consultation period for the draft master plan provided the community with the opportunity to have their say on the sustainable growth of the port. Submissions received during the public consultation period informed the final master plan. The report on public consultation, outlines the matters raised in the submissions and how these have been addressed.

Draft port overlay

Under the Ports Act, the port overlay is the regulatory instrument that implements the master plan for the master planned area. Port overlays identify regulatory requirements to be implemented in planning and development decisions to ensure the strategic vision for the sustainable development of the port is achieved. The port overlay operates alongside existing planning instruments and will only regulate development in the master planned area if additional requirements are necessary to implement the master plan.

fact sheet is available to assist the community in understanding the draft port overlay. 

If you require a hard copy of the draft port overlay, please email TownsvillePortMasterPlan@tmr.qld.gov.au or telephone 13 23 80* (fees for hard copies may apply).   

* Check with your service provider for call costs. 

Further information about the approach to preparing port overlays and how they operate can be found in the Draft priority ports master planning guideline

Public consultation on the draft port overlay

In accordance with the Ports Act, the Queensland Government released the Draft port overlay for the priority Port of Townsville for public consultation from 4 November to 16 December 2019.

All submissions are being considered during the preparation of a final port overlay. The final port overlay will be made available on this page with a summary of submissions, once approved by the Queensland Government.

Document register

Draft port overlay for the priority Port of Townsville

A draft port overlay has been prepared to implement the Master plan for the priority Port of Townsville.

Master plan for the priority Port of Townsville

The Master plan for the priority Port of Townsville is strategic document with a long-term outlook for the sustainable development of the port through to 2050. The master plan considers environmental values, including the Outstanding Universal Value of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area.

Supporting and archived documents

Most of the following documents were prepared at a point-in-time and are provided for information and historical reference:

If you require a higher resolution file of these documents, please email TownsvillePortMasterPlan@tmr.qld.gov.au.

Further information

Email: TownsvillePortMasterPlan@tmr.qld.gov.au  

Last updated
20 December 2019