Port of Townsville

The Port of Townsville is a vital and strategic trading port for Queensland and is Northern Australia’s largest general cargo and container port. Townsville is the international freight gateway for the largest population centre in Northern Australia (700,000 people) and the Port is the country’s leading exporter of zinc, lead, sugar, fertiliser and molasses.


Port of Townsville’s trade is forecast to treble over the next 30 years, with particularly strong growth anticipated in containerised and general cargo.
In order for the Port to continue to service its customers effectively, the Port must remain internationally competitive and able to accommodate expected medium to long term changes in vessel sizes and shipping requirements. Port of Townsville Limited (POTL) is proposing an expansion of the Port of Townsville to accommodate future trade growth to 2040. Townsville Port Expansion Project (PEP) involves channel deepening, widening, and development of a new outer harbour, wharves, reclamation, and associated infrastructure to support new berths. Further information about PEP can be found in the Project Overview section.


PEP is currently being assessed under separate State and Commonwealth environmental assessment processes. A summary of key assessment milestones is outlined below.

Port Expansion Project AEIS Timeline

Commonwealth Assessment process update:  EIS/AEIS FInalised

Following receipt of public comments on the Additional Information to the Environmental Impact Statement (AEIS) (October 2016), Port of Townsville has issued the AEIS-Final in accordance with the Commonwealth assessment process requirements.

The AEIS-Final does not contain any substantial changes compared to the AEIS.  The AEIS does include:

  • Additional information in Section 1.8 which summarises submissions received on the AEIS and explains the next steps of the assessment process
  • Appendix C5, which includes a summary of Port of Townsville’s responses to comments on the Commonwealth assessment process as well as detailed responses to all submissions received under both the Commonwealth and State assessment processes.


For privacy reasons it should be noted that individual submitters will be contacted by POTL and advised of their submitter cross reference number (Refer to Appendix C5 – Submissions).


Additional Information to the Environmental Impact Statement

An Additional Information to the Environmental Impact Statement (AEIS) dated October 2016 has been prepared in response to submissions and the request to provide further clarification on matters raised during the public consultation period of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The AEIS does not seek to duplicate the EIS but rather to complement the existing assessment by providing additional clarification on specific matters raised during the public consultation period, including Project design refinements.

The AEIS provides:


  • A summary of submissions received during the public consultation period of the EIS
  • Response to the submissions
  • An overview of legislative changes since the release of the EIS and subsequent impacts on the project
  • An outline of project design refinements since release of the EIS due to project progression, legislative changes and submissions
  • Corrections to the publicly advertised EIS

For privacy reasons it should be noted that individual submitters will be contacted by POTL and advised of their submitter cross reference number (Refer to Appendix C1 – Submissions).


The refined project:


  • Avoids sea disposal with all capital dredge material beneficially reused in the outer harbour reclamation footprint
  • Has no direct impact in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park General Use Zone due to channel widening and through only partially deepening the channel
  • Includes a changed dredging methodology that reduces the bulking of dredged material in order to bring all material to land and reduce the size of the reclamation area
  • Proposed dredge methodology will result in reduced water quality impacts during capital dredging
  • Has incorporated Berth 12 as it forms a critical component of the outer harbour swing basin (previously, the EIS had assumed that the approved Berth 12 project will be constructed ahead of the PEP, however the introduction of the Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015 has affected the Berth 12 approval leading to its inclusion in the revised design)


For ease of reference a comparison of the EIS project description and AEIS design refinements for key aspects of the Project is as follows:

Project Table

Refer to Publications to access the AEIS documentation.


A USB copy of the AEIS is available free of charge from the Port of Townsville, by contacting Telephone +61 7 4781 1540 or email [email protected]


If any clarification is required concerning submission cross referencing please contact us.

Environmental Impact Statement

The EIS formed the basis for the two separate assessments by the Coordinator-General, under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971, and both the Minister of Department of Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975.

The objectives of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) are to provide:


  • An understanding of the Project and existing environmental, social and economic values and potential impacts that may occur and measures to be adopted to mitigate potential adverse impacts
  • A framework for assessing impacts of the Project in view of legislative and policy provisions
  • A mechanism for sustainable environmental outcomes, including control measures and strategies to be implemented during the construction and operational phases through environmental management plans (EMPS)


The EIS consists of four parts that provide the following information:

Port of Townsville Port Expansion Project

Refer to Publications to access the EIS documentation.


Port Expansion Project AEIS – Final


Port Expansion Project EIS

Volume 1 – Section A to B10
Volume 2 - Section B11 to C2.5
Volume 3 – Appendix A1 to H2
Volume 4 – Appendix I1 to P
Volume 5 - Appendix -Q1 to X2
Port of Townsville