Calls for protection of portside land

Media release by Cairns Regional Council



Calls for protection of portside land

16 November 2017

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning has joined with one of the region’s largest marine operations in calling for vital waterfront land to be protected from development associated with the planned expansion of the Cairns Convention Centre.

Cr Manning said while the expansion project is of critical importance to the region, he would seek assurances from the State Government and Ports North that strategic port land would remain intact.

“Concerns have been raised that the expansion of the Convention Centre may encroach on to waterfront land currently used as a cargo area for the port,” Cr Manning said.

“The Convention Centre expansion is vitally important for the people of Cairns, but it must be done in a way that doesn’t impede other long-term economic planning for our city,” Cr Manning said.

Fred White, Managing Director of Sea Swift, said any intrusion into the Cairns Port area, south of Wharf Street, would negatively impact on future working port operations.

“To lose this land would erode opportunities to grow the coastal sea trade into and out of the port and would be a blow to any port expansion plans,” he said.

“While expansion to the north and east would allow for the welcomed growth of the Convention Centre, any extension to the south would pose a commercial risk to all marine-based operations in the Port of Cairns,” Mr White said.

Mr White said he held specific concern for an area of portside land that is currently used by Sea Swift for loading of essential service cargo and growing cruise ship providoring services.

Mayor Manning said he would seek clarity around the Queensland Government’s plans for expansion of the Cairns Convention Centre.

“Cairns Regional Council has engaged with the State Government on options for the Convention Centre to expand north or east from the current configuration,” Cr Manning said. “If there is any inclination to deviate from these plans, then this will not be well received by port users and the business community in general.

“The population of Cairns is forecast to double in the next thirty years. It would be short sighted to the extreme to limit the future growth of the seaport.”



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A safe passage for Cairns Port in the Queensland elections. Ad

We asked the candidates standing for the seat of Cairns, Far North Queensland what they will do to protect and progress Cairns Port. The Port created jobs in 1887 and does this still in 2017, for 130 years. Now that's sustainable!

Here is the score card:


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A safe passage for Cairns Port in the Queensland 2017 elections

We asked the candidates standing for the seat of Cairns, Far North Queensland what they will do to protect and progress our most historically important infrastructure, Cairns Port. The Port created jobs in 1887 and does this still in 2017, for 130 years. Now that's sustainable!

CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW to see a video message from:









Rob Pyne, message: I support the proposal the Treasurer has put forward. I again remind you these operational matters are not under the control of the Member for Cairns, whoever is elected.


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Proposed port development has no long-term plan.

Cairns Port Development Inc. welcomes the State Governments commitment and that of other political parties to carry out the smaller project at the Barron Delta. However, we urge Ports North to amend the revised draft EIS nominating the Barron Delta solution as stage one of a larger project.

Ron Crew, President of Cairns Port Development Inc. states “it is only a short-term plan that will cost more to deliver and earn less. The downsized project only removes one quarter of the volume of marine sediment required to widen and deepen the shipping channel”

“Critically, the public must know that once the downsized project plan is approved the door will shut, as all further major capital dredging for the Cairns port is banned under the Queensland Governments Sustainable Ports Development Act. This is regressive and will certainly place an economic cap on our region’s future growth.”  

The Environmental Impact Study economic report estimates the 2015 project earnings are $1.1 billion but the downsized project shows an earning of only $760 million. It will lose $340 million and limit ships lengths to 300 metres rather than 320 metres in the 2015 project plan. Therefore, the Voyager class of cruise ship won’t be able to access the port with a length of 311 metres.

The AEC 2016 shipping demand study records that the Voyager cruise ship will have 60% of the cruise industry market share by 2026.  The study also records that no new smaller Regal or Sun class ships are on order and smaller Grand and Vista vessels will be out of production by 2023. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines will have eight ships in Australia by 2020 but not one will be less than 300 metres.

Cairns Port Development Inc are also calling for amendments to the Commonwealth Reef 2050 Plan and Queensland Sustainable Ports Development Act to support long-term planning for Cairns port and recommends that the next immediate step is to produce a phased long-term dredging plan.

Click here to download detailed presentation

Click here to download report

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Cairns, a premiere tropical city MUST upgrade the seaport.

Fly over the proposed spoil sites with the experts. Find out how we can modernise the port of Cairns. THIS IS A MUST-SEE VIDEO TO UNDERSTAND THE PROPOSAL. The future of our city is at stake.


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Revised DRAFT Envrionmental Impact Study release

Queensland Government Coordinator General releases the long awaited Revised Draft Environmental Impact Study.

For a copy see this link: CLICK HERE

Or copy and paste this link:

Submissions are due by 25th August 2017.


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Cairns port Pacific Eden's stops to be reduced

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Watch this: 30 minutes of FACTS about the Cairns Shipping Development Project

WATCH this 30 minute video presenting FACTS about why the port of Cairns is being held back, stalling jobs and growth for Cairns & Queensland. CLICK THIS LINK TO PLAY VIDEO


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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:


Thank you for the time you have taken to read this blog post. 
If you would like to become a member or attend our meetings, JOIN by clicking here.

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Jobs lost as Cairns Port stifled.

Extracts Cairns Post February 2017.

The Letter to the Editor from Elvis Ashwell, a bus driver and tour operator who makes his living from the sector reports the following on the 21st February 2017.  


A reader confirms the losses incurred to the local industry operators due the cancellation of the Radiance of the Sea's. Unfortunately, the cruise season operates during the tropical north's wet season and it is not uncommon for the cruise ships to cancel their visit to Yorkeys Knob. 

The note below from a reader is ready to dispute the earnings lost, even though the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) regularly releases reports to the industry on passenger spends. Many of the anti-port development minority appear to be politically motivated by the Green-left, espousing information not based on any facts, simply opposing the port development based on an irrational decision.    

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