The Palaszczuk Government will strengthen protections for our Great Barrier Reef by tightening trans-shipping rules.
Environment Minister Steven Miles said the policy would mean trans-shipping in the Great Barrier Reef region would be considered an environmentally relevant activity (ERA).
An ERA is an activity that requires regulation under the Environmental Protection Act 1994.
“Stricter trans-shipping rules is just another way this government is protecting the Great Barrier Reef,” Mr Miles said.
“Trans-shipping is the transfer of cargo from one vessel to another while at sea. We want to make sure this is regulated consistently across Queensland and Commonwealth waters in the Great Barrier Reef region.
“A big part of this will be making sure bulk commodities are trans-shipped well away from the Great Barrier Reef.
“Treating the trans-shipment of bulk materials as an ERA means stricter conditions for shipping companies and greater enforcement options for the Environment Department if the Reef is harmed by these activities.”
The Environment Minister said public consultation on the policy paper opens today, and closes on 20 October 2017.
“We look forward to hearing from industry and business representatives, environmental organisations, and operators within the maritime and shipping industry, as well as key organisations such as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, various State and Commonwealth agencies and local government,” Mr Miles said.
“I’d also encourage all members of the community to take this opportunity to have their say.”