Dredging in Gladstone harbour.
Dredging in Gladstone harbour. David Sparkes

Gladstone harbour dredging project winds up a year early

GLADSTONE'S controversial dredging project is finally complete after two years of work in the harbour.

The Western Basin Dredging and Disposal Project removed a total of 21 million cubic metres of spoil.

Gladstone Ports Corporation was responsible for the project, and new chief Craig Doyle said it finished a year ahead of schedule.

Originally, the scope of the $1.3 billion project was for 26 million cubic metres, which included dredging for the Arrow LNG plant on Curtis Island.

That could still be required, but the two dredges that finished work this week will leave Gladstone next month.

And the next three months will see grass seeding across the 12-hectare Fisherman's Landing reclamation area.

Earlier this year, after three years of negotiations, GPC finally met a condition of the project, to offer compensation to commercial fishermen who suffered temporary or permanent losses due to the dredging.

The program closes next month.

Mr Doyle said harbour water quality monitoring would continue for two months, while seagrass monitoring would continue for five years.

"(This) will ensure that we have a thorough understanding of the actual impacts of development in the Gladstone Harbour," he said.

Last month, The Observer revealed the project had suffered a series of machinery malfunctions and human errors creating environmental incidents.

In one case, a shocking 1500 litres of raw human sewage was dumped into Gladstone harbour.

Another involved 4200 cubic metres of sediment being discarded in "unplanned dumping", resulting in a $6600 fine for the ports corporation.

Dredging remains a political issue as environmentalists campaign for an end to spoil dumping in the Reef Marine Park and Heritage Area.



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