News

GPC ignored bund wall advice, documents say

THE Gladstone Ports Corporation ignored its approved plans and external advice when it failed to build a rock covering over the geotextile fabric which tore on a bund wall in Gladstone harbour, confidential government documents have revealed.

An independent engineer who examined the failure of the Fisherman's Landing bund wall for the Federal Government's review has revealed the failure to build a rock covering was the key problem that led to sediment leaking through and under the bund in 2011 and 2012.

The failures on the wall were one of the key problems on the controversial Western basin dredging project and associated works, which coincided with a fish disease outbreak in the harbour.

And while the review panel members, led by CSIRO scientist Dr Andrew Johnson, had other expertise, no specific engineering expertise was originally proposed in the review's terms of reference.

It was not until Engineers Australia publicly complained about the lack of such expertise on the panel that it sought coastal engineer Dr Peter Cummings' independent advice.

Dr Cummings' confidential report to the panel has revealed that in the final construction of the bund wall, the port ignored its own EIS designs and advice from consultants to complete the rock covering over the geotextile fabric to prevent it failing.

His report, obtained under Freedom of Information laws, shows that while the consultant's advice was "recognized good industry advice"; "the as-built wall does not appear to have followed (it)".

"The design as built did not meet industry best practice and/or recognized industry standards," his report reads.

While the port's inquiry submission said it received other advice from contractors that laying the geotextile on the surface would have the "same filtration effect" as laying it under the original rock covering proposed, Dr Cummings said such advice was a "departure from normal practice".

"The use of an unrestrained exposed geotextile filter on the internal wall of the bund is not accepted practice because the geotextile is susceptible to disruption by hydraulic pressure and wave action," his report states.

Aerial view of Fisherman's Landing and the Bund Wall in 2013.
Aerial view of Fisherman's Landing and the Bund Wall in 2013. Brenda Strong

Dr Cummings said that while the approved plans and external advice originally stipulated the use of the rock covering; "something happened at the very end and I don't know what it is and the review panel didn't know what it was".

"If you like it was at the nuts and bolts level that something happened and the rock covering for the geotextile was not applied," Dr Cummings said.

The actual geotextile fabric used on the bund wall has also been questioned by engineers who worked on the project, who have argued the fabric used was not sufficient to prevent damage and leaks.

But Dr Cummings said he believed that irrespective of what specific geotextile was used in the project, the failure to cover and weigh down the fabric properly was the "key problem".

But despite the failures in building the bund wall, Dr Cummings said the remediation works taken almost 12 months after the bund wall was confirmed to be leaking was "industry best practice".

Dr Cummings also said that during his inquiries, the Department of Environment refused to allow him to meet with the port to examine the issues in more detail, rather than relying on the port's submission to the inquiry and regulatory documents.

"It would've been preferable if I could have spoken to them, I probably would've found out a bit more," he said.

"I was really examining documents provided to me by the department and I had one or two other documents I obtained myself.

"The people actually on the inquiry did interview them but because I wasn't an official panel member, they said no."

The Federal Environment Department did not respond to questions regarding Dr Cummings' original report or the failure to allow him to meet with the port directly during the review.

A spokeswoman for Gladstone Ports Corporation refused to answer questions.

Topics:  bund wall environment federal government gladstone harbour gladstone ports corporation



Date nights under $50

ACCORDING to The Bachelor falling in love involves helicopter rides, private jets, shopping trips, and we mustn’t forget the hot tubs.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Six reasons to get to Brisbane this Autumn

The Brisbane Powerhouse has free comedy on Friday nights.

AUTUMN has to be up there with one of the best seasons of the year.

The best things to do in Brisbane are FREE. Yes, FREE

Mt Coot-tha is a seriously gorgeous way to start your day.

HEADING to the big smoke doesn’t have to come with a big price tag.

Another GPC worker busted over false claims

The Gladstone Ports Corporation.

GPC continue to put rorting workers through court.

Notorious 'pirate' vessel on its way to Gladstone

LIVING HISTORY: Graeme Wylie on board his replica 15th century caravel Notorious. Below: The ship's iconic silhouette.

Graeme and Felicite Wylie are living the dream.

Young Gladstone man sells drugs to fund own habit

Daniel Neville Tully pleaded guilty in the Gladstone Magistrates Court to three charges including one count of possessing a used drug pipe, possession of a thing used in commission with a drug offence and possession of dangerous drugs.

IT'S an expensive habit, so who is paying?

Local Partners

Better phone service for Gladstone's regional towns

Telstra: "This technology is delivering big benefits to these rural and regional communities”


Win a $1000

GROCERY GIFT CARD!
Learn More

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

What public holidays are left in 2017

Ipswich residents will get the day off tomorrow for the show.

IPSWICH residents will get tomorrow off for the show

Caitlyn comes home to launch debut album

Gympie's Caitlyn Shadbolt will launch here debut album Songs On My Sleeve at an exclusive all-ages concert in Gympie on Friday, May 26.

Win tickets to Caitlyn's album launch

ABC2 slammed over football exhibition match coverage

ABC2 slammed for cringe-worthy pre-match coverage of the Sydney FC play Liverpool exhibition game

'Bulls--t!' Lisa Wilkinson grilled over Karl's pay packet

Join us for a Great Night as we Proudly present Lisa Wilkinson

“And you believe everything you read?”

The Beacon of light for emerging musicians

EXCITING: Dave Beacon has set up his recording studio in a spare bedroom.

'Best sound': This Calliope man might help you break into music.

Rebel Wilson trial: The secret we never could have known

Rebel Wilson outside court

“Most people wouldn’t know it exists,” she said.

Queensland Ballet searching for young Rocky dancers

EN POINTE: Rockhampton's Kenzie Andrews, 10, was chosen as an ambassador for Australian ballet shoe and dancewear company, Bloch

Young ballet dancers invited to audition for QB role

Janet’s back in the ring

Marta Dusseldorp returns in season three of the TV series Janet King.

Season three of ABC's legal drama delves deeper than ever before.

Game of Thrones drops new trailer for season 7

Game of Thrones fans have been given a new trailer for season 7.

Fans are finally getting a full-throttled peak at season seven.

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

New tool reveals which areas are most 'vulnerable' for renters

An aerial shot of Agnes Water main beach. According to new information, people renting in the region are more vulnerable than those in Gladstone suburbs.

Big differences between living in Gladstone and outer areas

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!