Passage of Port's bill ensures protection of Fitzroy Delta
A BUSINESS-boosting masterplan for Queensland's ports has moved one step closer with the passage of the Sustainable Ports Development Bill 2015 in Parliament on Thursday night.
Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga has welcomed the passing of the legislation in the house and said the bill would be well received in Central Queensland.
"The Sustainable Ports Development Bill is the first of its kind in Australia and will boost the ongoing development of Queensland's key export ports," she said.
"The Fitzroy Delta is recognised both nationally and internationally as a valuable natural asset with an estimated value of between $540 million and $2.9 billion.
"The Fitzroy Delta is the largest and most significant estuarine ecosystem flowing into the Great Barrier Reef.
"By protecting it we will be protecting the Great Barrier Reef, its water quality and marine environment, including the habitat for the rare and threatened snubfin dolphin as well as the flatback turtle, yellow chat and thousands of migratory birds.
"The Delta's massive system of mangroves and wetlands are relatively untouched, filtering vast volumes of water on its way to the Reef."
Under the Bill, the Port of Rockhampton (Port Alma) has not been declared a priority port.
"As such, port-related capital dredging at Port Alma will be prohibited.
"The Palaszczuk Government has listened to the concerns of the people of Emu Park, Zilzie, Keppel Sands and the Capricorn Coast more broadly.
"The Queensland economy strongly relies on our ports, particularly the four major bulk commodity ports Townsville, Abbot Point, Gladstone, and Hay Point/Mackay.
"Queensland's priority ports, represent trade worth $32 billion and shifted 77% of the total throughput of all Queensland ports in 2013-2014," Mrs Lauga said.