To ensure the ongoing, safe movement of vessels around the world, seabed levelling and dredging activities are regularly undertaken in and around port areas.
This includes the seabed levelling work, performed using a ‘levelling rake’ manoeuvred behind a vessel, being carried out in the Port of Devonport.
TasPorts Chief Operation Officer, Stephen Casey said no materials were removed from the port during the levelling project, rather the ‘dips’ and ‘hills’ on the seabed were levelled out.
“The work involves an excavator sweeping the shoals and mounds, followed by raking to level out,” Mr Casey said.
“By the end of the works, which is expected to be in later November, we will have swept about 20,000 cubic metres of materials to low spots in the port,” he said.’
“Over the next week there will be a short break in activities while the equipment undergoes maintenance.”
“The major focus is on the entrance channel, swing basin, and berth 4 West.”
Mr Casey said the formation of an independent Technical Advisory Consultative Committee (TACC) had been important in facilitating proactive community engagement around these activities.
“The TACC was established as a forum for engagement, consultation and collaboration between TasPorts, peak bodies and other relevant local stakeholders on the planning, environmental monitoring and practice standards of all future TasPorts dredging and levelling programs,” he said.
“The development of the TACC is a key aspect of TasPorts’ long-term dredge strategy and our commitment to Ports Australia’s Environmental Code of Practice for Dredging and Dredge Material Management.”
Mr Casey said the current seabed levelling work was independent and in contrast to a major maintenance dredging program set to commence in the new year once technical planning was completed and disposal options considered.
“The dredging work will see about 160,000 cubic metres of material removed from the port to return it to is design depths,” he said.
“TasPorts is committed to ensuring all dredging activities at our ports are undertaken in a manner that considers the impact on both the community and the environment.”