North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) has introduced a ‘digital dashboard’ that gives industry and community real-time access to information on air and water quality.
The corporation has established three air quality measuring sites, two near the port of Mackay and another at McEwens Beach, adjacent to the coal port of Hay Point (pictured). The sites measure TSP (total amount of dust particles suspended in the atmosphere), as well as PM 2.5 and PM 10, which are finer airborne particles invisible to the naked eye.
Kevin Kane, senior manager for environment and planning, said the initiative was part of NQBP’s long-term commitment to sharing environmental data.
“We collect a wealth of information that contributes to broader research outcomes,” he said. “We also wanted the data to be accessible to everyone in a format that’s useful day-to-day.”
The dashboard is also being used to provide public information on any potential impacts of NQBP’s 40-day maintenance dredging programme at Hay Port, which got underway at the end of March using the trailing suction hopper dredge BRISBANE.
Nicolas Fertin, CEO of NQBP, said that with three priority ports in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, respect for the environment was “critical to everything we do”.
He added: “A range of environmental controls have been put in place to minimise potential impacts on the marine environment. Throughout the maintenance dredging works, there will be real-time, publicly available monitoring of water quality to detect any potential impacts and allow an immediate response to any unpredicted changes to water quality.”
The dashboard is available on the corporation’s website.