The mission of Port of Newcastle (PON) is to promote and support prosperity of the Hunter Region and New South Wales in a sustainable manner. This is achieved through safe, efficient and sustainable operations.

As the custodian of the Port for the NSW government and the people of NSW, PON recognises its responsibilities in providing and promoting a sustainable environment for its employees, contractors, customers, port users, visitors and members of the public. PON operates within an Environmental Management System based on the principles of ISO 14001:2015.

Port of Newcastle maintains both an Environmental Management Plan and an Environmental Management System (designed to ISO 14001) that outlines port activities and ensures commitment to a high level of environmental standards.

Port of Newcastle will:

  • Comply with its responsibilities under the Environmental Protection Licences that it holds.
  • Undertake development in accordance with planning requirements.
  • Operate with all necessary state and federal government approvals.
  • Require port tenants and users to act in an environmentally responsible manner.

Click here to view Port of Newcastle's Environment and Sustainability Policy.

Environmental Management Plans

Maintenance Dredge Permit Long Term Monitoring and Management Plan 2012 to 2022

For more information on Port of Newcastle's maintenance dredging activities click here 

Pollution Incident Response Management Plans (PIRMP) is a requirement of any site operating under an Environment Protection Licence.  The document sets out the procedure to be followed in the event of a pollution incident at a site. PIRMPs have been prepared by Port of Newcastle for the following sites:


As a condition of DA 293-08-00, Port of Newcastle is required to maintain an Operational Environmental Management Plan (OEMP) for Mayfield 4 Berth.

DA293-08-00 Mayfield 4 Berth Operational Environmental Management Plan

Marine pests

Introduced species are able to invade NSW marine waters in a number of ways including through hull fouling and discharge of ballast water (see below). 

Many of the introduced species do not appear to have an ecological or economic impact. Of the exotic species found in NSW waters, only a few are on the current schedule of key marine pests targeted in Australia.

Non-native marine pests can be introduced to Australian shores within ship ballast water and on ship and boat hulls (biofouling). Marine pests can detrimentally affect marine ecology, fisheries and tourism and so present both a biodiversity and economic risk to NSW. 

Getting rid of introduced marine pests once they have established is extremely difficult, if not impossible. 

To help manage the risks, Port of Newcastle is a member of the NSW Marine Pests Working Group with representatives from Biosecurity NSW (Department of Primary Industries), NSW Office of Environment & Heritage, Roads & Maritime Services, Port Authority NSW and the  private port organisation of NSW Ports.

Ballast water
Australia has ballast water management requirements to prevent new marine pests arriving in Australia as a result of ballast water discharge.

Ballast water requirements for arriving international vessels

All arriving international vessels are required to manage their ballast water in accordance with the Australian ballast water management requirements, which provide guidance on how vessel operators should manage ballast water when operating within Australian seas in order to comply with the Biosecurity Act 2015. The Department of Agriculture provides further information to assist operators comply with the requirements.

Future ballast water management requirements

A comprehensive set of domestic ballast water management arrangements are being developed under the National System to complement the existing requirements for international vessels. Once implemented, all vessels whether on domestic or international voyages will be required to manage ballast water to prevent the introduction and spread of introduced marine pests.

These arrangements will be consistent with the International Maritime Organization's International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, which Australia has signed subject to ratification.

Marine pests can also be introduced into the environment via biofouling, which is the accumulation of marine organisms (plants or animals) that attach to objects immersed in salt water (such as vessel hulls, ropes, anchors and other equipment).

The risk of marine pests being spread via biofouling can be reduced by incorporating practices that minimise the build-up of biofouling into routine vessel maintenance programs.  A 'National Biofouling Management Guidelines for Commercial Vessels' has been developed and provides an important reference for owners, operators, docking superintendents and maintenance contract managers, particularly in the following circumstances:

  • Managing biofouling when operating in Australian waters.
  • Preparing a vessel prior to arrival in Australia (or any other country) to ensure it is free of marine pests on entry.
  • Developing maintenance contracts that will meet best practice in biofouling management and ensure optimal performance.
  • Supervising maintenance contractors.

In water cleaning
The 'Anti-Fouling and In-Water Cleaning Guidelines' apply to vessels and moveable structures such as pontoons, aquaculture installations and navigational structures. The Guidelines have two parts:

  • Part 1 is about application, maintenance, removal and disposal of anti-fouling coatings at shore-based maintenance facilities.
  • Part 2 is about in-water cleaning. Where practical, vessels should be removed from the water for cleaning, in preference to in-water operations. However, the guidelines recognise in-water cleaning as an option to remove some types of biofouling, providing the risks are appropriately managed.

Owners and operators wishing to in-water clean in NSW are advised to contact the Aquatic Biosecurity Unit of the Department of Primary Industries.

Email: aquatic.pests@dpi.nsw.gov.au
Phone: +61 2 4982 1232

Approval from the relevant State authorities will be required prior to undertaking any in-water cleaning in NSW. For in-water cleaning in Commonwealth waters, please visit the Department of Agriculture.