A stoush has broken out between the state and federal governments over an investigation into the expansion of the Gladstone Harbour in central Queensland,

The Federal Government established an independent investigation into the Gladstone Harbour dredging program over a fortnight ago.

The probe is in response to UNESCO's scathing report on the Great Barrier Reef last year.

The Queensland Government has now announced a panel for its own investigation, but it will not be used for the response to UNESCO.

Queensland Environment Minister Andrew Powell says the panel set up by Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke is a waste of time.

"That is duplicating effort, and that is costing taxpayers dollars," he said.

"We have as the Newman Government wanted to give assurances to the community that we're in this for the long haul - we wanted a longer process.

"One that is independent of government - that's why we've set up this panel.

"We believe rather than duplicate efforts both now and into the future, reviews should go through this panel.

"My offer to Tony Burke was to use the independent scientific panel that we have set up and use that panel to undertake the review."

But Mr Burke says he asked the State Government to jointly commission the review months ago, but they refused.

"What Andrew Powell is saying would have made sense about four months ago," he said.

Mr Burke says the official review should be completed by the end of the year.

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