NQBP awarded bronze at the Australasian reporting awards

North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) has received a Bronze Award for excellence in reporting at the 2017 Australasian Reporting Awards (ARA), for the production of the corporation’s FY16 Annual Report.

NQBP was also a finalist in the Special Award online reporting category for the production of a digital edition of the same publication.

NQBP’s Director Sustainability and External Relations Gary Campbell acknowledged NQBP’s commitment to full disclosure when he accepted the award at the ARA Presentation Dinner last night in Melbourne.

“As a government owned corporation, NQBP is committed to open and transparent stakeholder communication.

“Active engagement with our customers, business partners and shareholders, underpins our business operations and provides solid foundations for growth,” Mr Campbell said.

“NQBP’s annual report is a critical platform through which we share information about our performance and achievements during the year, and our outlook for the future of our operations.

“We continue to strive to improve our communication with stakeholders, and this award acknowledges our hard work in this area,” he said.

Mr Campbell said achieving a Bronze level ARA award recognised NQBP’s annual report addressed the ARA criteria well, and presented quality disclosures in major areas.

“The ARA aims to contribute to ongoing improvement in the quality of annual reporting. The Awards provide an opportunity for organisations to benchmark their report against ARA criteria which is based on world best practice,” he said.

NQBP provides a comprehensive annual report to shareholders at the end of each financial year.

NQBP’s annual report for the current FY17 financial year is expected to be available in October 2017. NQBP’s FY16 annual report can be viewed here: www.nqbpannualreport.com.au.

Take a seat at North Wall beach

We have installed a memorial seat at Mackay’s North Wall beach to help commemorate past residents with a connection to the area.

The seat, which was installed today, was suggested by local resident Judy Keogh after her husband Peter passed away.

NQBP Chief Executive Officer Steve Lewis said he was proud to see the engagement between employees and local residents resulting in better outcomes for our community.

“Our communities are an integral part of our ports and we appreciate feedback and suggestions,” Mr Lewis said.

“Where there are opportunities to work on community projects such as this, we take them,” he said.

Mrs Keogh said the seat would be a benefit to all beach users, but particularly for those looking for somewhere peaceful to reflect.

“From his younger years Peter spent most weekends at North Wall looking for a wave to catch,” Mrs Keogh said.

“Our connection to the area remained after we were married, spending many years with our children in and around the Mackay Harbour on our boat ‘Iris May’,” she said.

“I suggested to NQBP that a seat could be installed somewhere close to the Port to enable families to remember loved ones that had a connection to the area,” she said.

“I’m grateful to NQBP for listening to our suggestion and installing the seat, it’s a great result”.

North Wall beach is located alongside the Northern Breakwater of the Port of Mackay. It is a popular beach with surfers, stand-up paddler boarders, recreational fishermen and walkers in the Mackay community.

Showcasing leadership and commitment to environmental protection

Ensuring the environment remains at the forefront of business planning and operations will be the focus of talks, by North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) and other industry-leading organisations, at the 2017 Australasian Coasts & Ports Conference this week in Cairns.

From 21-23 June, NQBP will join other delegates to share important insights and learnings around a range of multi-disciplinary issues impacting Queensland’s diverse and developing coastline.

The conference theme ‘Working with nature’ shapes the discussions and provides an opportunity to share innovative approaches across different industries.

NQBP Chief Executive Officer Steve Lewis said NQBP was proud to be a sponsor and exhibitor at the conference, which aims to reinforce the responsibility organisations have to ensure environmental protection is a regular part of business.

“The sustainable development and environmental management of our ports underpins the growth and operation of NQBP’s business,” Mr Lewis said.

“NQBP is the only port authority in the world responsible for three major ports in a World Heritage Area, and so our commitment to environmental protection runs deep.

“We hold a vision where trade, communities and the environment work together in harmony.

“NQBP leads the way with the strength of our commitment to this area, and we are proud to be part of an event that encourages a similar, steadfast commitment across all industries,” he said

NQBP Senior Manager Environment and Planning Kevin Kane, and NQBP Senior Manager Sustainability Simona Duke, will both present on NQBP’s leading sustainability and environmental protection work.

Kevin Kane will offer a keynote address, ‘Girt by Sea’, on day two of the conference, as well as deliver presentations around NQBP’s recent work in sustainable sediment management and the PIANC Guideline (Environmental Risk Management of Navigational Infrastructure Project).

Simona Duke will also present to the conference on Thursday, on the topic of Port Sustainability Leadership in Tropical Australia.

Mr Kane said NQBP would exhibit at the conference with James Cook University (JCU), following a recent collaboration between NQBP and JCU’s Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research – TropWATER – which explored environmental management practices of coastal ports.

The Australasian Coasts & Ports Conference is the amalgamation of the 23rd Australasian Coastal and Ocean Engineering Conference, and the 16th Australasian Port and Harbour Conference. The Conference is being held at the Cairns Convention Centre from 21-23 June.

Safety first on Mackay’s iconic Southern Breakwater

Public safety on Mackay’s Southern Breakwater remains a primary concern after an increase in the number of people reportedly behaving illegally.

NQBP Chief Executive Officer Steve Lewis said the key priority is to make sure that locals and visitors alike continue to enjoy having safe access to this valued community asset.

“Over recent years the Southern Breakwater has become an extremely popular Mackay destination and we would like to see this continue; however, public safety must always come first”, Mr Lewis said.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing some people driving and riding unsafely on the breakwater, and on a number of occasions local police have been asked to respond.

“This is not in the interests of people’s own safety, or the safety of bystanders and the community who regularly enjoy this iconic Mackay destination.

“As always, NQBP’s is committed to the safety of the community,” Mr Lewis said.

“In March, NQBP was forced to close the Southern Breakwater in the lead up to Tropical Cyclone Debbie in the interest of public safely and to stop irresponsible behaviour.

“Following the damage left by the cyclone, NQBP is restoring the breakwater so this much-loved public space can continue to be enjoyed by all.

“Help us keep the southern breakwater open and safe for the future,” Mr Lewis said.

If you witness unsafe activity on the southern breakwater contact Queensland Police’s Policelink on 131 444.

Learning to protect our marine life

Bowen State High School’s project to breed and monitor growth rates and water quality impacts on barramundi and redclaw has gained a boost.

The project was a successful recipient of a $1000 grant to assist with the study.

NQBP Chief Executive Officer Steve Lewis said the annual EcoPorts grant program helps teach local children about sustainability and environmental principles.

“This school project has a very close link to our port operations, with students set to examine how environmental regulations are established to protect marine life.

“This project will demonstrate how industry and the environment can co-exist,” Mr Lewis said.

Marine Studies teacher Steven Moore said the money would enable the purchase of equipment required to extend their current aquaculture facility to enable redclaw studies.

“The idea from this project has come from community concern over the impact of expansion of Abbot Point Coal Terminal on local marine life,” Mr Moore said.

“We are hoping the results can demonstrate that the environmental guidelines followed by the terminal will have no or minimal impact on native marine life,” he said.

The EcoPorts Grant Program provides a grant of $1000 to primary or secondary schools located within NQBP communities for their use in developing an environmental project or to assist with environmental related curriculum activities.

Other school projects which have been successful this year include:
• St Joseph’s Parish School Weipa – Kitchen garden with bush tucker, guidance from local indigenous groups
• St Francis Xavier Primary School – Landscaping with native plants
• St Patrick’s College, Mackay – Reduce amount of one use plastics, using bamboo and paper
• Mackay State High School – Extension of garden beds to balance nutrients offset from aquaponics system
• Mackay Christian College – Research project on waste issues and waste minimisation “Does it Matter”
• Mackay North State High School – Recycling station for new agricultural construction centre for at-risk students
• St Joseph’s Catholic School, Noth Mackay – Naturescape learning, sensory garden using natural materials, compost and vegetables
• Beaconsfield State School – Sensory garden – learn about lifecycles, linked to science
• Glenella State School – Sustainable Perma-culture garden project – cultivation of fruit and vegies

Maintenance dredging in Weipa

Maintenance dredging at the Port of Weipa is set to commence. Dredge vessel the ‘Brisbane’ will work within the port’s south channel and inner harbour between 17 May and 14 June 2017 inclusive.

NQBP Chief Executive Officer Steve Lewis said the dredging works are an integral part of the port’s operations.

“NQBP manages the annual maintenance dredging program at the Port of Weipa, a program which has run for more than 30 years,” Mr Lewis said.

“Regular maintenance dredging is required to ensure that safe, navigable shipping depths are maintained for our port users such as Rio Tinto,” he said.

“While the maintenance dredging works are being completed we ask that local and visiting boaties take extra care when on the water during this time.

“The ‘Brisbane’, as well as support vessels ‘Norfolk’ and ‘Pacific Conquest’, have restricted manoeuvring capability so we ask people on the water to pay close attention to displayed warning flags and lights,”. Mr Lewis said.

Strict environmental controls and management measures will be implemented throughout the campaign to minimise the risk of any potential impacts on the marine environment.

Investing to unlock local trade opportunities

As Queensland’s new trade strategy is rolling-out North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) is ramping-up its pursuit of increased local trade, with an $11.64 million package of infrastructure improvements for the Port of Mackay.

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Curtis Pitt said the program of works includes a number of projects aimed at increasing the Port’s capability to attract new trade and larger vessels to the region, as well as improve safety, efficiency and flexibility.

“Coming soon to the Port of Mackay are upgrades to wharf fendering systems, roadworks improvements, removal of redundant marine infrastructure and installation of new lead lights for marine pilotage,” Mr Pitt said.

“The major component of the works includes upgrading the fendering system at Wharves Four and Five.

“This new capability, combined with the recently opened and federally accredited NSS quarantine wash down facility unlocks the potential for the Port of Mackay and sends a strong message to the world that Mackay is open for business.

“Investing in this type of infrastructure not only brings additional local trade and helps grow local jobs, it also supports the future growth of regional Queensland.”

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said this was a testament to the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment

“This is a vote of confidence in the Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday region’s economy,” she said.

“The works are part of a $22.13 million capital expenditure budget for NQBP over 2016-17, providing jobs and opportunities for regional communities.”

NQBP CEO Steve Lewis said the new fendering system would be like a series of bumpers attached to wharves to absorb the kinetic energy of a berthing vessel and prevent damage to the vessel or the wharf.

“The new fenders have also been especially designed to allow for a growing market of ‘Roll On, Roll Off’ trade, also known as RoRo,” Mr Lewis said.

“RoRo trade can include mining or agricultural equipment, or any cargo on wheels.”

NSS general manager David King said the new wash bay has expanded the scope of the port and provides shippers with the capacity to cleanse imported cargo and meet biosecurity requirements in a controlled environment.

“As a regional Queensland business employing locally, our hope is that NSS’s facility and licencing arrangements will increase trade through the port and rejuvenate industry in this region,” Mr King said.

Project facts:
• $8.5M installation of a new fendering system at Wharf 4 & 5
• $2.6M removal of redundant marine infrastructure
• $460K installation of new lead lights for marine pilotage
• $80K roadworks improvements