Fitzroy Delta to stay natural in latest Qld port plans

THE business-boosting Gladstone Ports master plan is busy boosting business in all the region's ports except Rockhampton's, but Port Alma and Fitzroy Delta have been offered an environmentally friendly incentive for being scrapped from the new plans.

The release of an amended proposed boundary had 88,000 hectares of land under the Port of Gladstone, the majority of the Gladstone State Development Area, part of the Gladstone Regional Council area and marine components covered by the economic plan.

But not Port Alma, the Fitzroy Delta, Keppel Bay or North Curtis Island.

A spokesperson for Minister of State Development and Minister of Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham said development in the greater Fitzroy Delta was prohibited under the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan.

"Port Alma will continue as a vital port into Queensland and continue to operate fully with maintenance dredging," the spokesperson said.

"However the Palaszczuk government's commitments under the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan states no expansion with capital dredging can be allowed.

"The Palaszczuk government was elected with a mandate to protect the Great Barrier Reef, and part of that commitment was to prohibit any development in the Greater Fitzroy Delta.

"This means that future growth in trade passing through Port Alma will be delivered in environmentally sustainable ways and, particularly, without any capital dredging at this port.

"The natural asset value of the Greater Fitzroy Delta is estimated to be between $540 million and up to $2.9 billion and it traps up to 3.5 million tonnes of sediment per annum and contributes significantly to clear visibility in the Great Barrier Reef."

Legislation is expected to be debated in Parliament later this year that will establish master planning requirements for the four priority ports.

The environmentally friendly focus is something Livingstone Shire Mayor Bill Ludwig is all for.

"Livingstone is not in favour of expanding port facilities in relation to the coal industry or required dredging," Mr Ludwig said.

"That area should be reserved for world class heritage.

"The value of those areas in both current and future generations can't be put to a dollar figure but you can put a dollar figure in tourism and keeping those areas pristine."



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