Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Terms of Reference Finalised for Independent Review of the Port of Gladstone

Media release
19 February 2013

Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, today announced the Terms of Reference for the Independent Review of the Port of Gladstone.

The Independent Review is a key component of the Australian Government’s response to the 2012 decision of the World Heritage Committee regarding the ongoing protection and management of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage property.

“The Gillard Government is committed to addressing the recommendations of the World Heritage Committee and ensuring the Great Barrier Reef is protected and conserved into the future,” Mr Burke said. 

“The terms of reference set out the scope of work to be undertaken by the review panel, this includes looking at all previous review findings and information used as a basis for the current approvals for development at the Port of Gladstone.

“The review will draw upon a range of scientific and expert information. It will look at current and future planning for development, as well as management, monitoring and reporting programs.

“It will also look at environmental concerns in the area, including the environmental performance of developments and operations and the impacts of other significant threats affecting the Great Barrier Reef.

“This inquiry is getting underway later than I would have preferred. The reason for the delay is because we had been scoping out with the Queensland Government whether it would be possible for this inquiry to be done entirely within the Healthy Harbour Partnership.

“While it has turned out that this inquiry will not be done jointly with the Queensland Government, I am pleased that the Queensland Government has given every indication that they will cooperate with it.

“I am committed to ensuring that this review remains independent and transparent. That is why the panel will be able to obtain further independent scientific information to support the review if they determine it is required.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of two widely respected scientific experts to the panel, Associate Professor Eva Abal and Professor Richard Kenchington.

 “I recognise that numerous stakeholders including industry representatives, government agencies, local government, commercial and recreational fishers, environment and other community groups will have a strong interest in the review and its outcomes.

“The review will draw upon a range of scientific and expert information including the work being done by the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership, which brings together industry, community, scientists and government to focus on continuous improvement in the health of Gladstone Harbour.

“The review panel will be calling for public submissions and more information will be available through their website. This is an opportunity for interested parties to have their say.”

The Chair will provide a final report of the independent reviews findings to the Australian Government by 30 June 2013.

Further information can be found on the review’s website: www.environment.gov.au/gladstonereview