News

Govt probe to examine impacts of harbour dredging

The Rotterdam cutter suction dredge on Gladstone Harbour.
The Rotterdam cutter suction dredge on Gladstone Harbour. David Sparkes

THE Federal Government has launched an investigation into "a number of issues related to the impact of dredging" in Gladstone Harbour.

Confirmation of the investigation by the Federal Environment Department puts paid to media reports published on the weekend that an investigation was looking into "audit conditions".

It also follows a comprehensive Gladstone Ports Corporation rebuttal of the claims made in national press that an investigation into audit compliance was under way.

A detailed statement from the department revealed the regulatory authority did not consider the ports corporation to have breached approval conditions related to audits or annual compliance reports.

But the statement instead confirmed the department was "looking into a number of other matters related to the impact of dredging within Gladstone Harbour".

Revelations of a regulatory investigation into dredging in the harbour comes just a day after Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke announced the terms of reference of an independent inquiry into the management of the harbour.

It also comes two months after APN Newsdesk revealed the ports corporation was fined $6600 for an emergency dumping of dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area in January last year.

The department said it could not make any further comment while the investigation was underway, but it is understood the investigation was related to the Western Basin Dredging and Disposal Project.

In the statement, the department also revealed that despite no approval conditions requiring an independent audit compliance report, audits were undertaken independently of port management.

"The conditions also allow for an independent audit to be directed by the department," the statement reads.

"However, the Gladstone Ports Corporation is only required to undertake an independent audit upon direction by the department.

"While the Gladstone Ports Corporation 2011 compliance report indicates that it is an independent audit report, this was not done at the direction of the department."

The department also confirmed it had not considered an independent audit into the port's compliance with approval conditions "to be necessary at this time".

Topics:  australian government, dredging, environment, gladstone harbour, gladstone ports corporation




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

How clean eating transformed incredible shrinking woman

AFTER: Mariah Tonkin has lost almost 60kg.

Clean eating wins the day for Hillcrest’s Mariah Tonkin

US recruit keen to help Ipswich Force

Ipswich basketballer Jason Ralph in his Valley City State University gear.

Ipswich basketballer benefits from US stint

OPINION: Pauline Hanson supporters deserve a voice

SPEAKING OUT: Pauline Hanson is a love or hate figure who is sure to spark controversy.

My Two Cents with QT journalist Adam Davies

Latest deals and offers

Cameron Smith talks about 37 Origins

Cameron Smith, the most Origin games by a Queenslander.

Qld Captain Cameron Smith talks about his record-breaking 37 Origin appearances.

Winternats New Sponsor

The Ipswich City Council has taken over as the major sponsor for the 2016...

Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce tour Rockhampton sweet potato farm

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce visit a...

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked

Caloundra’s former Centrepoint Buffet site up for sale

FOR SALE: The home of the old Centrepoint Buffet

Restaurant fined for unhygienic practices closed months ago