The Hon. Greg Hunt MP

Minister for the Environment

The Hon. Greg Hunt MP

Minister for the Environment

Independent Review into the Port of Gladstone

Media release
30 January 2014

It is clear that there has been a failure in the bund wall at the Port of Gladstone. As Federal Environment Minister, it is my responsibility to ensure that the ecological health of our oceans and harbours is protected.

I have therefore decided to commission an independent review into the leaking bund wall at the Port of Gladstone. Today I am announcing the Terms of Reference.

An Independent Review of the Port of Gladstone was commissioned by the Australian Government in February 2013, but since then new information has come to light. I consider it necessary that an independent panel also examine this latest information.

We need to find out if this was a failure of design or construction.

The independent panel will:

  1. examine and report on information relevant to the design and construction and functioning of the outer bund wall of the western basin reclamation area that has become available since the Independent Review reported on its findings;
  2. provide advice as required to assist with the department's current review of the outer bund wall leak incidents in 2011 and 2012;
  3. consider the adequacy of monitoring requirements and operations; and
  4. seek submissions from relevant stakeholders on the design, construction and other matters relating to the subsequent leaking of the bund wall.

I have appointed Dr Andrew Johnson and Ms Anthea Tinney to co-chair the review. I have also appointed Dr Ian Cresswell as a member of the panel.

Dr Andrew Johnson is a leader in environment and sustainability-related research at CSIRO and is a member of the International Scientific Advisory Committee of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

Ms Anthea Tinney has previous experience and considerable knowledge regarding the management of the Port of Gladstone

I anticipate that the review findings will be finalised and made available to me by the end of March 2014.

The Port of Gladstone Western Basin Dredging Project was approved under national environment law on 22 October 2010 by the previous government. It is the responsibility of a new government to investigate what went wrong and why, and to make sure it does not happen again.

Greg Hunt

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