North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) is committed to a sustainable and responsible environmental approach that seeks to, where possible, prevent, and always to reduce and manage its impact on the environment.

As a port authority for some of Australia’s largest export ports, NQBP delivers an approach based on sustainable planning, leading environmental management in its dredging and other activities, and rigorous monitoring of its ports’ environments. NQBP has an Environmental Management System developed to comply with AS/ISO 14001:2004 to ensure continual improvement in environmental performance.

NQBP leases land or infrastructure to other organisations to carry out port-related activities and has a planning, coordinating, facilitation and development function in the port. Generally, NQBP only operates port facilities in the Port of Mackay. The operators of facilities in the port generally have control over potential impacts of their activities, and any environmentally relevant activities they undertake are licensed by either the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection or the local council.

In its coordination role, NQBP carries out monitoring of the whole port environment to complement any monitoring carried out by facility operators. NQBP manages the potential impact of new projects through appropriate management plans.

The main activities carried out by NQBP are dredging to maintain navigable depths for ships and construction of port facilities. The impacts of these activities are controlled through appropriate environmental management plans, extensive environmental monitoring and close consultation with stakeholders.

The major environmental issues facing NQBP are:

Achieving effective management of dredging.

Achieving environmentally sustainable development on port land.

Achieving environmentally sustainable use of the port by shipping, lessees and operators.


NQBP has a comprehensive program of environmental monitoring which is reviewed annually. It is developed on a port-by-port basis to ensure environmental issues in each port are being adequately monitored.

Port Environmental Management Image_ AR2015-16

Our Environment Report, Your Ports, enables us to demonstrate our commitment to sustainable port practices and dedication to the larger community and regions. View the report.


NQBP has joined forces with the Port of Hay Point’s terminal operators – Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT) and Hay Point Coal Terminal (HPCT) – to undertake a comprehensive technical, economic, social and environmental study of sediment management in and around the facility.

Left unmanaged, natural sedimentation has the potential to have substantial economic impact on the region which the Port of Hay Point supports.

Natural sedimentation fills up navigational infrastructure such as channels, berth pockets, swing basins and aprons, impacting the depth necessary for safe loading, manoeuvring and transit of ships.

At Hay Point, the time of greatest impact is when ships are loading in the berth pockets.

As part of the Sustainable Sediment Management project, NQBP is considering the values of a range of stakeholders in framing how it can sustainably manage sediment at Hay Point.  NQBP has also been conducting a wide range of scientific studies to better understand what options are available to avoid sedimentation; reuse any sediment which has accumulated or what impacts would be of a range of disposal options, including onshore and at sea disposal.

We will then use a structured decision making process to combine the values of stakeholders with the scientific data to ensure NQBP can make the best decisions with regard to how to sustainably manage sediment at Hay Point.


The EcoPorts Program is a practical action plan to achieve NQBP’s long-term environmental goals and commitments.

The Program is updated and assessed annually by our dedicated Environment Group.  NQBP addresses all significant environmental risks within all areas of operations and within each port through EcoPorts.  Issues and actions are documented and monitored to ensure the short and long term sustainability of our ports.


Each year NQBP carries out environmental improvement projects. These vary year to year and include projects such as revegetation of port land, local community environmental projects and developing new partnerships with customers and environmental groups.


All new projects on port land are assessed for potential environmental impacts as part of an internal approval process. The proponent is required to prepare an Environmental Management Plan which covers:

  • legislative requirements
  • water, air or noise impacts
  • stormwater management
  • waste management
  • flora and fauna management
  • incorporation of sustainability measures.

NQBP requires an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for major projects on port land.

NQBP’s environment policy outlines how it is committed to protection of the environment and to the sustainable management of its ports and activities.


NQBP has published a series of 24 environmental monographs as follows:

  1. Weipa Catchment Condition Report & Resource Inventory
  2. Mourilyan Seagrass 1993
  3. Ballast Water Risk Assessment Stage 1A Report
  4. Karumba Baseline Seagrass Surveys 1995
  5. Cape Flattery Benthic Monitoring
  6. Karumba Dredging 1996: Environmental Monitoring Report
  7. Mourilyan Seagrass 1996
  8. Weipa Water & Sediment Quality Monitoring Baseline Surveys
  9. Clean Ports Monitoring Program: Seven Queensland Ports: 1997 Pilot Study
  10. Ballast Water Risk Assessment: Stage 1B Report
  11. Ballast Water Risk Assessment: Stage 2 & 3A Report
  12. Ballast Water Risk Assessment: Twelve Queensland Ports: Stage 3B Report: Environmental Similarity Analysis
  13. Ballast Water Risk Assessment: Stage 4 Report
  14. Ballast Water Risk Assessment: Stage 5 Report
  15. Mourilyan Seagrass  – The First Four Years
  16. The Global Response to ‘The Ballast Water Issue’: Implications for Australian Bulk Exports
  17. Clean Ports Monitoring Program – 1998
  18. The Treatment of Ships Ballast Water
  19. The Ballast Water Problem – Where to from here?
  20. Karumba Seagrass – The First Six Years
  21. Weipa Seagrass Baseline Surveys 2000
  22. Weipa Seagrass Surveys 2001-2002
  23. Weipa Seagrass – Long-Term Monitoring 2003-2005
  24. Hay Point Apron Areas & Departure Path Capital Dredging Project: Environmental Review

If you require a copy of any of the above environmental monographs, please email our Environment team or contact
Nicola Stokes on 07 4969 8105.