Gladstone’s $760 million Gatcombe and Golding Cutting Channel Duplication project has reached a milestone, with the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) submitted.
The project will see the port’s existing bypass channels expanded to a depth of 16m and width of 200m, allowing increased vessel capacity, improved operational efficiencies and enhancing vessel movement safety of the channels.
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the publicly-owned port played a crucial role in Gladstone’s $4.7 billion economy, holding the title of the state’s largest multi-commodity shipping port.
“When the port prospers, Gladstone prospers. That’s why we have an ambitious plan to triple the port’s trade – from 100 million tonnes to 300 million – over the next 50 years,” Mr Butcher said.
“The Palaszczuk Government is already investing in major port growth projects like the RG Tanna Coal Terminal upgrade and East Shores development.
“Doing the proper planning now for this long-term project means our city will be ready when the time comes to expand our port.”
The project – expected to start in 2023 – will involve dredging about 12.6 million cubic metres of seabed material to deepen the existing Gatcombe and Golding Cutting bypass shipping channels as well as initial dredging to improve barge access.
Construction to create 382 jobs
The workforce required for the channel project is estimated to be 382 people – with 20 involved in reclamation bund wall and barge unloading facility construction, 356 (over two shifts) involved in dredging and dredged material placement, and 10 involved in navigational aid works.
The post dredging workforce for stabilisation and maintenance activities on the reclamation areas will involve 23 people, including 15 involved in annual maintenance dredging.
GPC acting chief executive officer Craig Walker said that the EIS had taken into account comments received during the consultation period earlier this year.
“The project need will be based on shipping demand, including anticipated changes in shipping fleets into the future,” Mr Walker said.
“The port will always continue to pursue opportunities to improve efficiency and optimisation of the port’s existing harbour channels where possible, and avoid any unnecessary expansion works.”
Copies of the draft EIS and AEIS documentation will be available for viewing on the port’s website, at Kullaroo House, the Gladstone City Library and the State Library of Queensland.
The final EIS is open for public viewing until November 29, 2019.