Synthesis of water quality influences in ports of the Fitzroy region, Queensland
reportposted on 26.06.2018, 00:00 by Nicole FlintNicole Flint, Emma JacksonEmma Jackson, S Wilson, Krista VerlisKrista Verlis, John RolfeJohn Rolfe
Australia is dependent on its port facilities for international trade. There are 20 ports in Queensland alone, two of which are within the Fitzroy Basin region. Water quality in ports is influenced by a wide variety of factors, some of which are unique to shipping and port operations. This synthesis report focuses on issues relating to water quality in the two Fitzroy region ports — the Port of Gladstone and the Port of Rockhampton, both managed by Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) — as part of the Water Quality Improvement Plan being developed by the Fitzroy Basin Association (FBA) for the Fitzroy and coastal catchments, through funding from the Australian Government Reef Programme. Both of the Fitzroy region’s ports are located in river estuaries, and the Port of Gladstone is also co-located with a regional city and a large industrial sector. The Port of Rockhampton is located in the delta of the Fitzroy River, which drains the largest river basin draining into the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) lagoon. Management, monitoring and assessment of water quality issues therefore has to occur in a framework where the multiple impacts on water quality of catchment, urban and industrial footprints interact with impacts from shipping and port operations. The purpose of this study is to summarise the factors that influence water quality at the two ports and to synthesise the processes used to monitor and manage these influences. The study provides a summary of the port maintenance and industrial activities at both ports, identifies and gathers together data on the variety of factors that could potentially influence water quality in the ports, describes current water quality monitoring and reporting, and summarises the management and legislative structures around port water quality. It also provides an analysis of research and knowledge gaps in the Port of Gladstone and the Port of Rockhampton.