Cairns Port Political Trickery and Fake News

A letter to the Cairns Post Editor by Curtis Pitt, published 4th March 2017, is shown below. 
We hope you will take a moment to read our comments.

At the end of our post, there is a funny cartoon and some links to short video's on the Port. We also ask for your help by getting involved in our social media campaign to support the Cairns Port.

Is Mr Pitt dredging up the facts or some political trickery?
Mr Pitt has left out some important facts. 

It is not the Strategic Ports Act, it is the Sustainable Ports Development Act.
The Cairns Shipping Development Project Environmental Impact Study was underway and grandfathered by the Act although the project may be cancelled at any time. It has already been slashed to one-quarter of the size. If it is ever finished, under the Act, no major capital dredging works is allowed in the future. This must be changed. 

The 'talk' referred to was the proposed amendments to the Act that were in line with the bipartisan Queensland Parliamentary Committee findings that the port of Cairns should be included as a priority port, along with the four other major ports in Queensland adjoining the GBR, to allow future capital dredging rights. Also, it was proposed the Port of Cairns should be removed from the Act until there was certainty that the current project would be delivered. The government did not support the amendments.

The Commonwealth's Reef 2050 plan banned at-sea dumping, even though the science reported in the original EIS stated that placing the material in the dedicated in-shore spoil grounds did not harm the reef.  

Nobody has ever suggested dumping mud on the reef.

Our perfectly-functional in-shore spoil ground, within the designated port limits, was only recently included in the Marine Park area, and it can be excluded again, like they have recently done at Townsville's port. The small area of over-lap has been used by green activists to falsely claim reef damage.   

One-quarter of the spoil removed at one-third of the cost means the ALP’s proposal is even more wastefully expensive than the LNP’s.

The original plan to remove 4.4 M m3 future proofed the port for 25 years. The revised slash to 1M m3 only works for about 10 years and the Sustainable Ports Development Act prohibits any more. CHECK-MATE CAIRNS PORT.    

The quoted Newman-era $360m to bring the Cairns port up to modern standards was grossly inflated by the unnecessary-complicated spoil-disposal proposals. Independent costings at the time was estimated at $240M. These costs include the badly needed wharf side infrastructure upgrades.

The return on investment and benefits to the economy has always been very high, estimated at $5B over the original 25 year study period. 

We would hope that the down-scaled plan to develop the port is mature, it has taken 5 years and $8 million to do a study. 

The majority of new cruise ships are boutique in size, with most below 70,000 tonnes, with an average 900 passengers each to suit a boutique port. We still have more passengers sitting out at sea than can come into the port. 

Mr Pitt, if your government can carry out a Market-Led-Proposal (MLP) with the private sector to properly invest into the new Brisbane Cruise Liner Terminal, why can't that be done for Cairns Port? Then the people of Cairns would get a 25 year plan and NOT ANOTHER BAND-AID JOB.

Members and supporters of Cairns Port Development Inc.

If the answer is YES, Please email with your video.
We can also organise a professional producer to assist. 

Below are links as an example. 

Mr Dan McCarthy
Mr Matt Ellis and Ms Kathy Brenton:
Mr Bill Cummings

Short videos' are being produced for our social media accounts. Twitter and Facebook activity has doubled previous volumes.

Our Port needs people power. Please forward this email on to your contacts and ask them to join us at:


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