The Queensland Government has announced the proposal to build a shipping channel in Gladstone Harbour has been declared a significant project by the state’s Coordinator-General.


The proposal will now progress through to an environmental assessment and public consultation period on the project’s draft terms of reference, which are about to be released by the Coordinator-General and will form the basis of the environmental impact statement.


“This project will open up a second channel in the harbour, allowing two-way traffic and more efficient and effective use of the harbour,” Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said. 


“Essentially it will duplicate the existing Gatcombe and Golding Cutting shipping channel from the outer harbour, around East Banks, to the western side of Facing Island. 


“The Gladstone Ports Corporation has identified this as a key component of a 50-year strategic plan to safely and sustainably accommodate future shipping requirements.” 


Mr Seeney said as well as building the new channel, the project involved disposal of dredge spoil and constructing new channel navigation aids. 


“Gladstone Ports Corporation estimates up to $400 million will be invested in the development of this project,” he said. 


“It’s expected to require a workforce of up to 100 people during construction over 20 months from 2014/2015, and an additional 20 people as part of the on-going maintenance dredging program.”