Protecting the Environment

NSW Ports’ facilities have a wide variety of environmental and social features within and surrounding our land, including:

  • Close residential communities to our ports and intermodal terminals
  • Habitat for the endangered Green and Golden Bell Frog (Litoria aurea)
  • Wetlands and waterways such as Tom Thumb Lagoon and Gurangaty Waterway in Port Kembla and Penrhyn Estuary in Port Botany that support a wide variety of native species including marine, migratory and shorebirds, mangroves and coastal saltmarsh
  • The open waters of Botany Bay and Port Kembla Harbour

Port and intermodal operations, both vessel and land based, are generally ongoing 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, to service the needs of the state and the economy, but they have the potential to generate emissions to air, land and water that can disrupt the surrounding environment. NSW Ports is actively working to manage any potential impacts from our operations to ensure that port and intermodal activities can operate beside community and environmental assets.

Protecting our Air:

NSW Ports actively supports maximising the use of rail to transport cargo to and from the ports. We have set a target of moving 3 million TEU of containers by rail to and from our ports by 2045. We also support greener fuel for transport operators, such as the Euro 5 Compliant Prime Movers.

Noise impacts

Most noise generated at the ports emanates from operations undertaken by lessees on NSW Ports' land. Noise from lessee activities primarily arises from: operation of vessels and vehicles, loading and unloading of cargo to and from trains, trucks and ships; movement of cargo within terminals; and use of terminal equipment (for example, cranes and forklifts). To a lesser degree, noise can be generated by NSW Ports' own operations, including construction and port development activities.

Although not directly responsible for the noise generated by ships, stevedore and container handling activities, NSW Ports undertakes a duty of care in relation to noise management from its facilities. We are working closely with our local communities and our tenants to identify potential noise sources and what can be done to reduce the impact of operational noise. Noise issues are a standing agenda item at our community forums such as the Port Botany Community Consultative Committee.

NSW Ports is committed to following up all noise complaints. Ways to report noise complaints can be found here: Contacts, Incidents and Complaints.

Protecting our Water:

NSW Ports supports the initiatives of the NSW Government and Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) who have a responsibility for marine biosecurity and protecting our waterways from local and international pests.

Stormwater quality in Port Kembla’s Inner Harbour has benefited from a number of treatment measures installed in recent years. These include:

  • Sealing over 50 hectares of previously exposed land
  • Installing litter baskets in stormwater inlets throughout the general cargo handling facility
  • Installing in-line treatment devices (i.e. Ecosol, CDS and Humeceptor units) to remove sediments, gross pollutants and hydrocarbons (i.e. oils and greases)
  • Grass lined swales along Tom Thumb Road
  • Stormwater polishing ponds.

Stormwater runoff from Outer Harbour lands is controlled via rock filter walls and basins. Terminal operators at Port Kembla have a range of stormwater collection and re-use systems to minimise the impact of their operations.

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