Gladstone is ready to consolidate its position as Queensland’s industrial powerhouse following release of the new Ports Strategy for Queensland.
Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Chief Executive Michael Roch said: ”The release of the Queensland Government’s Ports Strategy is an environmentally responsible and sustainable approach to future development in the five long-established Priority Port Development Areas (PPDAs).
Gladstone is well positioned because it has the certainty of being able to develop the export capacity needed by Queensland’s key export industries including minerals, energy and agriculture.”
The strategy also recognises exporters’ strong record of working responsibly alongside the Great Barrier Reef for many decades.
”The Queensland Ports Strategy aligns with UNESCO’s recommendations that further port development be contained to existing precincts,” Mr. Roche said. ‘‘There have also been a number of reports released in the wake of UNESCO inquiries that validate that environmentally responsible port expansion has been the hallmark of the experience in Gladstone and in other Queensland ports.
The incremental expansion of ports has been fundamental to Queensland’s economic and social progress over more than a century.’’
Exports through ports adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef were worth $37.5bn in 2012-13. Direct spending by the resources sector in the Gladstone local government area totalled $4.69bn in 2012-13.
”Despite a mountain of evidence and independent reports, activists remain determined to undermine the central Queensland economy by falsely linking port developments to a recent sharp decline in the health of Great Barrier Reef coral or fish health problems in Gladstone Harbour.
We remain confident that when the World Heritage Committee meets next week, they will confirm that Australia is making good progress in addressing the real health challenges for the Reef,” Mr. Roche said.
June 11, 2014