Mackay’s iconic rockwall ready to roll for Superboats

The Port of Mackay’s landmark Southern Breakwater will be open to spectators during the Offshore Superboats Championships taking place off Mackay this weekend.

NQBP Chief Executive Officer Steve Lewis said the Southern Breakwater will be temporarily closed to vehicles to allow pedestrians to use the breakwater as a viewing point during the races.

“As part of the Offshore Superboats Championships, the Southern Breakwater will be closed between 2am and 2pm on both days of the weekend, Saturday 15 July and Sunday 16 July,” he said.

“We are proud to support this event and the Mackay Marina area by providing spectators with access to the breakwater.

“It’s sure to be a thrilling spectacle once again this year as the Superboats roar into action.

“However, we want everyone to remain safe during the event, and I urge spectators to apply the normal caution when on the breakwater and refrain from climbing on the rocks.”

Security will be present during the races.

For more information on the Offshore Superboats Championships, visit their website.

Lighthouse launch shines bright

NQBP has joined the Bowen community to celebrate the completion of the North Head Lighthouse restoration project.

NQBP Chief Executive Officer Steve Lewis said he was proud of the corporation’s $15,000 contribution to the project which has seen the iconic community asset brought back to life.

“As the port authority for the Port of Abbot Point, NQBP has had a long association with Bowen’s maritime history – including the lighthouse,” Mr Lewis said.

“While it is no longer required for the port’s operational purposes, it will always be part of our community’s rich past.

“At NQBP, we care about and are proud of the people we work with, the communities we work in and the regional jobs we support.

“These repairs could not have been achieved without the combined effort of many local organisations and volunteers, including the Bowen Independent and Whitsunday Regional Council.

“This project is a great example of our community coming together. Thank you to the volunteers for their many hours of hard work and congratulations for completing this very special restoration,” he said.

Approximately 800 people attended the official celebration ceremony on Saturday to mark the end of renovations, before making the annual walk across to North Head Island.

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:

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