Applying to develop

North Queensland Bulk Ports is responsible for approving all new development or operations (works) on strategic port land and within port waters.

All works (excluding some minor works) on strategic port land and in port waters require a port development approval. Some works may also trigger the need for an approval under other state or Commonwealth legislation, such as the Planning Act 2016, Environmental Protection Act 1994, State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

All applicants are encouraged to email NQBP’s development approvals team at to arrange a pre-lodgement meeting to discuss approval requirements prior to applying.

Development guidelines

NQBP’s Sustainable Port Development Guidelines provide the detailed standards and requirements for development in our ports of Hay Point, Mackay, Abbot Point and Weipa. The guidelines seek to achieve a high standard for new development on strategic port land and port waters while providing cost-effective and sustainable outcomes for developers.

When reviewing a port development application (PDA) for a new project, NQBP will assess compliance with the standards presented in the Sustainable Port Development Guidelines as part of the application assessment process.

Proponents must provide sufficient information in the PDA to demonstrate how their proposal complies with all the requirements of the guidelines, or provide a statement that the proposed development complies fully with the guidelines.

An application fee applies, with the fee based on the complexity of the assessment.

Development approvals

Approval process

The approval process for applications is shown below. A Port Development Approval usually takes approximately three to four weeks.

You can also view past applications and decision notices.

Proponent presents project plan to NQBP to identify any issues.

Proponent submits the Development Application. NQBP assesses and issues an approval with conditions if the project is supported.

Proponent constructs the project, complying with endorsed management plans and any NQBP approval conditions.

NQBP reserves the right to inspect the completed project to ensure approval conditions were complied with.