Dredging at Mackay

We last undertook maintenance dredging at the Port of Mackay in December 2020.

Just like roads, shipping channels and other navigational areas require maintenance to keep ports operating effectively.

Maintenance dredging involves relocating siltation which travels along the coast and accumulates where our shipping operations occur.

Before 2020, maintenance dredging last occurred at the Port of Mackay in 2013. Since then, we have managed siltation through regular bed-levelling. Surveys prior to the 2020 project showed increased siltation requiring maintenance dredging.

About 125,000mof natural sediment was removed from the Port of Mackay and placed at the approved Dredge Material Placement Area (DMPA), 2km north of Slade Islet.

The maintenance dredging was undertaken in accordance with all relevant State and Commonwealth maintenance dredging permits, and in line with the Queensland Government Maintenance Dredging Strategy for Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area Ports.

NQBP continued its rigorous environmental management program including monitoring of water quality, seagrass and coral communities, with no incidents occurring.

Throughout the dredging, we engaged with key stakeholders including the Mackay Technical Advisory and Consultative Committee (TACC).

Environmental approvals

We hold the required Commonwealth and State permits* to conduct maintenance dredging at the Port of Mackay.

The permits carry a range of conditions to protect the marine environment.

*In 2022 NQBP renewed our 10 year permit for the continued placement of maintenance dredged material within the Dredge Material Placement Area. You can read more on our application here.

Our approach to maintenance dredging is set out in the Port of Mackay Long Term Maintenance Dredging Management Plan 2018-2043.

Our maintenance dredging program aligns with the Maintenance Dredging Strategy for Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area Ports released by the Queensland Government and the Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan. The Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan is the Australian and Queensland Government’s overarching framework for protecting and managing the Great Barrier Reef to 2050.