North-East Shipping Management Plan

The Great Barrier Reef, Torres Strait and Coral Sea are unique, diverse and among the most well-protected waters in the world.

Ships must navigate these protected areas in Australia’s north-east to reach our ports, and comply with special measures that demand the highest possible shipping safety standards. 

In 2014, a North-East Shipping Management Plan (2014) (the Plan) was published with the purpose of ensuring shipping traffic in environmentally sensitive waters is being managed appropriately, while supporting commodity growth and infrastructure developments.

The Plan also aligns with the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan—a framework for protecting the Great Barrier Reef through a strong, coordinated approach to managing shipping in the region.

Review of the Plan

In 2018, the plan underwent a review in response to current and forecast shipping activity, including an assessment of present and future risks and mitigation measure to manage identified risks. 

The review also identified an opportunity to explore the use of vessel arrival systems (VAS) for bulk commodity ports.  

The result of the review, the 2019 Review of the North-East Shipping Management Plan is now available.

The next review of the Plan is scheduled for 2023.

Status reports

Status reports will be published each year.

Read the July 2021 status report.

Read the January 2021 status report.

Read the January 2020 status report.

More information

Contact: with any questions about the Plan.

Last updated: 1 September 2021