The biggest dredging program in the world has begun in Western Australia, with dredging operations already underway in Port Hedland, Perth and the Kimberley.
Key points:The project will see a huge amount of dredging material used to dredge 1,100km of the Great Barrier Reef, covering nearly 80% of the reefThe project has been approved by the federal Government and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMS)The project, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch Diversion Project (GPGDP), is the largest dredging operation in the entire world.
The Great Barrier, as it’s known, is one of the most important ecological and economic assets in the western Australian region.
Its unique ecology and biodiversity make it one of Australia’s greatest treasures.
However, despite the massive amount of work being done, the Great Sea currently does not support the development of large-scale dredging projects.
So the GPGDP is a step towards the goal of establishing the Great Australian Garbage patch.
The project is the first of its kind in the Western Australian region, and will see dredging materials used to construct 1,120km of dredge line from the Great Salt Flats to Port Hedlands.
This is expected to generate a combined $1.4 billion in economic benefit, and provide over 10,000 jobs.
The dredging will be carried out by the Northern Dredging Company, a company owned by the Commonwealth Government and backed by a range of investors, including Western Australia’s richest man, Andrew Forrest.
The Northern Deds, which are part of the Queensland State Government, will operate under the auspices of the Northern Territories Environment and Energy Department, the Department of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Northern Territory Health Department, and the Department for Primary Industries.
The Queensland Dredgers, which will be managed by the Queensland Department of Water, are contracted to do dredging in the Great Northern Sea (GNS), and will operate from the Darling Downs to Port Pirie.
The Port Piries are the largest port in Australia.
It will be the largest project undertaken by the Australian Government to address the Great South Sea and the Great Coastal Plain issues.
The GPGdp will begin with a total of 623km of line, which is the equivalent of roughly a third of the total length of the entire Great Barrier reef.
The Southern Sea, which includes the GNS, is expected be covered in the first three years.
The line is expected begin operations from Port Pirio in early 2019.
The first phase will see the dredging work be carried through Port Piri, from Port Hedlanders to Port Harcourt.
The remaining portion of the line will be dredged at Port Pirios in Port Pirier.
The Western Australian Government has committed $100 million to the project, and is providing $2.5 million in funding from the state’s own resources and infrastructure funds.
It’s hoped the dredged material will be shipped to the Great Sand Dunes in Queensland, where it will be used to create a new marine reserve, which the Northern Mines Development Corporation is currently building.
The National Infrastructure Facility for the Northern Sea and Coastal Plain (NSFDP) will be responsible for supporting the dredge work.NSFDC chairman, James Smith, said the dreding will create a safe environment for the community.
He said the project is a milestone for the Great Southern Sea and Northern Sea, as well as for the wider Great Barrier ecosystem.
“It’s a huge opportunity to bring more jobs to Western Australia and more jobs for the region.”
The project can’t wait any longer, and we want to get it right.
“This is an exciting opportunity for the country.”