Flinders Ports has worked closely with key government agencies including the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA (PRISA), Department for Environment and Water (DEW) and Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI), to ensure regulatory conditions are satisfied and State Government objectives for the environment are met.
A key step in the project has been obtaining a licence through the EPA and a permit for native vegetation clearance from DEW.
The EPA is South Australia’s independent environment protection regulator. One of its roles is to work with major project proponents to establish strict environmental conditions and requirements to protect, restore and enhance the environment.
The EPA issued a dredging licence to Flinders Ports in March 2019 for the Outer Harbor Channel Widening Project.
A Dredging Management Plan, which outlines how Flinders Ports will fulfil requirements of the licence including the dredge methodology and environmental risk management, was then finalised and approved by the EPA. Flinders Ports has continued to engage with stakeholders to ensure key issues are addressed.
Download a copy of the dredging licence or a fact sheet about this on the Resources page.
The licence was granted under the Environmental Protection Act 1993 and incorporates conditions to meet various issues raised through community and stakeholder submissions.
The marine environment will be closely monitored before, during and after dredging to enable any risks to be identified and interventions to be applied.
Flinders Ports is regularly reporting to the EPA on management and monitoring activities associated with the dredging. Monitoring data is also available for public access on our on our website.
General conditions include:
- A comprehensive environmental evaluation
- Thorough consultation with all stakeholders
- Real-time monitoring and reporting, including triggers to manage the works within established limits
Additional conditions have been set for the dredge method, environmental management and monitoring, turbidity management, seagrass management and monitoring, Dredge Management Plan, POMS management, biosecurity and the Dolphin Sanctuary.
Dredging began in June 2019 and is expected to conclude in September 2019.
DEW Native Vegetation Clearance Permit
The Department of Environment and Water approved a Native Vegetation Clearance permit in January 2019, allowing Flinders Ports to clear a small amount of sparse seagrass (approximately 4ha) as part of the expansion of the Outer Harbor Channel.
The permit accepts that up to 158ha of seagrass will potentially be indirectly affected in the short-term. Vegetation assessments predict the dredge method and the reactive monitoring program will reduce potential impacts throughout dredging activity, and initial disturbance to seagrass is expected to recover post dredging.