Following continued advocacy from our office, the below update has been provided by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), regarding the potential actions by TMR mentioned in our July 2022 Noosa 360 update:

Following the flood event, Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) was tasked by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) in its 2021-22 Southern Queensland Floods State Recovery and Resilience Plan 2022-24 to ‘investigate improved flood-resilient engineering standards for pontoons including revised materials to address polystyrene pollution, with the aim of presenting a long-term solution to mitigate the vulnerability to future weather events’.

The Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG) which was formed was chaired by MSQ’s General Manager and included representatives from other relevant government agencies.

The IGWG led to MSQ holding the first industry roundtable on 22 August 2022 with pontoon manufacturers and industry stakeholders which was used as a forum for industry to share experiences, knowledge, and insights to address the issues surrounding polystyrene pollution and the current standards for floating pontoons.

Prior to the first IGWG, MSQ established the Maritime Infrastructure Resilience (MIR) team who convened four Industry Workshops with industry stakeholders (including the Marina Industry Association and Boating Industry Association) which covered six key topics that were raised at the first industry roundtable.

Through consultation with industry representatives, MSQ developed a series of key options for consideration, to improve standards for pontoons and to reduce vulnerability during weather events. Options were presented back to the industry representatives at a second roundtable held on 30 March 2023.

Based on the outcomes from the industry workshops and roundtables, MSQ prepared a series of recommendations, which were finalised following internal government consideration prior to being provided to the regulatory agencies.

MSQ will continue to provide support and advice though ongoing partnerships with the Department of Environment and Science and other Queensland Government agencies on pontoon and maritime structures.

The Australian Standard for design of maritime structures (AS4997) is currently under review by Standards Australia. MSQ will have an opportunity to provide comment when consultation occurs later this year and intends to contribute positively with the findings of the above investigation.

Furthermore, during the 2023 Budget Estimates, the following response was provided to a letter from Sandy to the Queensland Minister for the Environment:

Addressing expanded polystyrene (EPS) is included in a number of actions in Queensland’s Tackling plastic waste: Queensland’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan (the Plastics Plan), which sets the direction for Queensland to be part of the global solution to plastic pollution. The Plastics Plan identifies and prioritises actions at every step in the supply chain, to help reduce plastic waste and reduce the amount of plastic in and entering the environment in order to drive long-term change and identifying actions at every step of the plastic supply chain.

In March 2021, the Australian Government also released the National Plastics Plan 2021. The National Plastics Plan 2021 includes an action for government to work with industry to phase out certain problematic plastics in line with the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation’s work with industry to-date on problematic and unnecessary plastics including EPS packaging.

In addition to this, from 1 September 2023, the Queensland Government has banned EPS foodware. EPS loose-fill packaging material (packing peanuts) will also be banned under our single-use plastic items bans. The Queensland Government has also identified a possible ban on EPS trays, such as fruit and meat trays or serving trays, which will be explored from 1 September 2024 in Queensland’s five-year roadmap for action on single-use plastic items.

Further Information

For those wishing to also advocate with the relevant Queensland Ministers directly, please consider emailing the following:

Please copy in our office via and forward us any response you receive.

For our previous Noosa 360 updates on Polystyrene, please visit

On the February, March 2022 floods, a reminder submissions from individuals and communities affected are still being accepted for the Federal Inquiry into insurers’ responses to 2022 major floods claims. The committee hasn’t provided a closing date for submissions with more information on our Noosa 360 update at