NQBP is committed to a sustainable and responsible environmental approach that seeks to, where possible, prevent, and always to reduce and manage its impact on the environment. As a port authority for some of Australia’s largest export ports, NQBP delivers an approach based on sustainable planning, leading environmental management in its dredging and other activities, and rigorous monitoring of its ports’ environments. NQBP has an Environmental Management System developed to comply with AS/ISO 14001:2004 to ensure continual improvement in environmental performance.
NQBP leases land or infrastructure to other organisations to carry out port-related activities and has a planning, coordinating, facilitation and development function in the port. Generally, NQBP only operates port facilities in the Port of Mackay. The operators of facilities in the port generally have control over potential impacts of their activities, and any environmentally relevant activities they undertake are licensed by either the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection or the local council.
In its coordination role, NQBP carries out monitoring of the whole port environment to complement any monitoring carried out by facility operators. NQBP manages the potential impact of new projects through appropriate management plans. The main activities carried out by NQBP are dredging to maintain navigable depths for ships and construction of port facilities. The impacts of these activities are controlled through appropriate environmental management plans, extensive environmental monitoring and close consultation with stakeholders.
In 2015, NQBP developed a Sustainability Plan, which includes 24 actions that are being progressively implemented until 2017. To read our plan, please click here.
NQBP has a comprehensive program of environmental monitoring which is reviewed annually. It is developed on a port-by-port basis to ensure environmental issues in each port are being adequately monitored. Our Environment Report, Your Ports, enables us to demonstrate our commitment to sustainable port practices and dedication to the larger community and regions. View the report.
Port of Hay Point Ambient Air, Noise and Weather Monitoring Reports
NQBP has joined forces with the Port of Hay Point’s terminal operators – Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT) and Hay Point Coal Terminal (HPCT) – to undertake a comprehensive technical, economic, social and environmental study of sediment management in and around the facility.
Left unmanaged, natural sedimentation has the potential to have substantial economic impact on the region which the Port of Hay Point supports. Natural sedimentation fills up navigational infrastructure such as channels, berth pockets, swing basins and aprons, impacting the depth necessary for safe loading, manoeuvring and transit of ships. At Hay Point, the time of greatest impact is when ships are loading in the berth pockets.
As part of the Sustainable Sediment Management project, NQBP is considering the values of a range of stakeholders in framing how it can sustainably manage sediment at Hay Point. NQBP has also been conducting a wide range of scientific studies to better understand what options are available to avoid sedimentation; reuse any sediment which has accumulated or what impacts would be of a range of disposal options, including onshore and at sea disposal.We will then use a structured decision making process to combine the values of stakeholders with the scientific data to ensure NQBP can make the best decisions with regard to how to sustainably manage sediment at Hay Point.
The EcoPorts Program is a practical action plan to achieve NQBP’s long-term environmental goals and commitments. The program is updated and assessed annually by our dedicated Environment Group. NQBP addresses all significant environmental risks within all areas of operations and within each port through EcoPorts. Issues and actions are documented and monitored to ensure the short and long term sustainability of our ports.
Impact Assessment of Projects
All new projects on port land are assessed for potential environmental impacts as part of an internal approval process. The proponent is required to prepare an Environmental Management Plan which covers:
Water, air or noise impacts
Flora and fauna management
Incorporation of sustainability measures.
NQBP requires an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for major projects on port land. NQBP’s environment policy outlines how it is committed to protection of the environment and to the sustainable management of its ports and activities.
Environment and Planning Policy
It is critical that avoidance and minimisation of environmental impacts is given priority when planning and policy decisions are required.
Strong policy should also:
Be informed by rigorous and recognised science
Balance the science along with environmental, community and economic needs; and
Recognise that maintenance and creation of ports and waterways is essential.
Our Principal Policy Advisor Paul Doyle currently serves as the Environment and Planning Chair for both Queensland Ports Association and Ports Australia. This allows NQBP to play a vital role in driving industry involvement and input into marine science, port policy and dredging assessment and governance. It also ensures that NQBP’s expertise is called upon by ports and industry associations throughout Queensland and Australia.
A summary of the key policy tasks undertaken during the 2016-17 financial year can be found here.