The Queensland Government has released a report into the water quality of Port Curtis over the past year, outlining little change to the quality in the last 10 years.


“It’s equally important that the results of that testing show there has been little change in Gladstone Harbour over the past year, other than immediately following heavy rainfall in January when changes in water quality were consistent with flood waters extending into the area,” State Environment Minister Vicky Darling said.


The water quality testing and review carried out by the Department of Environment and Resource Management will provide input to the further investigation by an independent scientific panel looking into fish disease in the area


DERM’s Director of Water Quality and Aquatic Ecosystem Health Dr Julia Playford said DERM’s water quality review analysed data from three sources:


  • The Boyne and Calliope estuaries, collected by DERM since 1994
  • The Port Curtis Integrated Monitoring Program, from July 2008 to July 2011 and
  • Gladstone Harbour, provided by the Gladstone Ports Corporation, covering the period from October 2010 to August 2011.


Dr Playford said the results showed there had been little change between October last year and August this year, a time when there was a significant increase in dredging activity.


She said the analysis for the estuaries and the harbour showed natural variation in water quality due to seasons, flooding rains and drought.


“The assessment shows that pH in Port Curtis has not fallen below 7.1, therefore the waters of the harbour are not acidic. Dissolved oxygen levels are not unexpectedly low. Metals’ results are similar to historical records showing spikes after periods of high rainfall,” Dr Playford said.


The Department of Environment and Resource Management has been undertaking monthly monitoring of the Calliope and Boyne River estuaries for water quality parameters since 1994.


The report can be found here