Cairns Port & the 2019 Federal Election
VOTE 1 for election candidates that support the original Cairns Shipping Development Project and 'priority port' status.
The Federal Government Reef 2050 still BANS all future major capital expansion of the Cairns Shipping Channel.
The Federal Government has forced marine sediment to be unnecessarily placed on land with a massive cost increase, leading to the downsizing of the current project by the State.
There is NO direct Federal funding committed to the Cairns port project, unlike the current Townsville port expansion project where the Prime Minister recently pledged $70 million.
Remember the 20 page Cairns Post supplement that was published in 2016 in the lead up to the Federal election, along with an open letter to the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader?
It is still being ignored.
Dear Prime Minister,
Dear Leader of the Opposition,
On behalf of Cairns Port Development Incorporated, we AGAIN urge the Federal Government to commit to direct investment into the Cairns Shipping Development project to deepen and widen the Cairns Seaport. The State Government has reduced the project to one-quarter of the size, blaming costs forced by the Federal Governments Reef 2050 plan. The States downsized plan should be stage one of a larger project.
Ships needing to access the port have been getting larger and the larger original project is critical to the region’s continuing progress.
While the history of Cairns shows that land-based placement of dredged material pays off over time, the Federal Government, by requiring land-based placement, has added a substantial amount to the cost of the project with no apparent future dividend.
The small scale of works allowed for Cairns Port under the Queensland Sustainable Ports Development Act, the “teaspoon” provisions is nowhere near meeting the urgent needs for port upgrading, even after the smaller project is completed.
Scientific evidence indicates that shifting sediment from the shipping channel to another seabed area within the designated port limits would not affect the reef. The Great Barrier Reef is not ‘in danger of being destroyed’ by the Cairns Shipping Development Project. Please recognize and support the city and region’s people, who have always applied ‘best practice Australian standards’ to the protection of the Great Barrier Reef. Please find attached a Queensland Ports Association report: Sediments and Dredging at GBR Ports June 2018.
The full long term benefits of the project to the region need to be taken into the account.
We urge the Federal Government to live up to their responsibility to the people of Far North Queensland; to ensure Cairns seaport meets the region’s needs, now and into the future.
Ron Crew OAM