Contact: Emma Thirkell

Cairns Port & the 2019 Federal Election


VOTE 1 for election candidates that support the original Cairns Shipping Development Project and 'priority port' status.


  1. The Federal Government Reef 2050 still BANS all future major capital expansion of the Cairns Shipping Channel.

  2. 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. 

  3. 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.

Yours faithfully

Ron Crew OAM






12 DECEMBER 2018

  Cairns Port - Naval Gazing

 The public of the Cairns region is being subjected to misinformation about legislation potentially affecting Cairns sea port. The truth is, currently, State and Commonwealth government legislation provides no surety that the Cairns sea port can expand to meet the needs of all facets of the port’s operation now and into the future, to harness the potential the port can offer to grow our economy.

Cairns port has been designated strategic port land since the Qld Transport Infrastructure Act nomination in 1994. The 2016 state planning policy for strategic ports is a guide for local governments land use planning around ports, not, as Mr. Entsch puts it, "a sudden quiet announcement by the Queensland government" about a strategic port designation.  There are 15 strategic ports in Qld and four of those ports have been upgraded to priority port status for long-term planning purposes, leaving Cairns port out. Mr. Entsch indicates that because of strategic port status, Cairns could not have priority port status, but again this can't be true, because Townsville port has both strategic and priority port status.

The statements by Mr. Entsch that he and Advance Cairns have brought about the 2018 Security of Critical Infrastructure Act to advance the development of Cairns sea port are not correct. Cairns was included because it is also controlled by the Maritime & Offshore Facilities Security Act since 2003. The northern Australian ports of Townsville, Cairns, Darwin and Broome are all listed along with a dozen other ports along with electricity, water, gas and other infrastructure assets. There is no publicly known direction by the Home Affairs Minister that will cause the current downsized Cairns Shipping Development project to be expanded or override the Reef 2050 plan BAN on future expansion of Cairns sea port.

The new Commonwealth July 2018 Security of Critical Infrastructure Act requires the port owners to report any changes to the port, to the Commonwealth’s Secretary for Home Affairs, where the Minister may cause the port owners to act if there is a risk to national security. The Act may help secure some HMAS Cairns expansion and maintenance, but it is not certain. The navy will do what the navy needs, but this alone will not cause expansion of the shipping channel to maximize earnings from cruise shipping and other port activities.

Cairns Port Development Inc. President Ron crew OAM, thanks the retired Lieutenant General John Grey who represents Advance Cairns, for their work to escalate the Australian Governments understanding of the capacity of Cairns port to act as a maintenance hub for an increasing presence by the Australian and US Navy at Manus Island in PNG, which is set to become Australia's most northern navy base.

In the fullness of time, increasing activity at Manus Island may develop, but for now there is no certainty that the activity will convert into the type of business that the Cairns shipyard companies need, to underpin their expansion. We would appreciate confirmation from the Defence and Home Affairs Ministers, and greater detail around the role that the port of Cairns and HMAS Cairns may play. 

Critically, no Commonwealth funding for the Cairns Shipping Development project has been promised, as the Commonwealth has done for the Townsville port project.

The real issue for Cairns port is the Reef 2050 plan. The plan unnecessarily forces marine sediment to come on land, instead of being re-located in the harbour area, that does not harm the reef. Bringing the marine sediment on land massively increases the cost.

The Reef 2050 plan also bans any future capital expansion of the shipping channel, a travesty especially now the current project has been cut to one-quarter of the original size by Ports North. Even the Voyager Class cruise ship, which will be the most dominant cruise ship in Australian waters within seven years, will not be able to come into the port. Not allowing the Voyager class, at 310 metres long, means we are effectively cutting off our noses to spite our face, because the downscaled project only caters for ships that are 300 metres long.

We ask that Mr. Entsch provide evidence that the Minister for the Environment will amend the Reef 2050 plan, so that Cairns port can expand for cruise shipping and other shipping as the city grows.    



For further information contact Secretary Emma Thirkell: E:

P: 40531274 or President: Ron Crew P: 0427 964917


Cairns Post Letter to the Editor 30th October 2018

by Ron Crew, President, Cairns Port Development inc.






 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 impact 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 class 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.


For further information contact Secretary Emma Thirkell: E: P: 40531274 or President: Ron Crew P: 0427 964917

Click here to download media release

Click here to download presentation

Click here to download report






14 FEBRUARY 2017



The previous deadline for submission of the draft environmental statement by 30th June 2017 is cancelled. The new deadline is 31st December 2017. Ports North has extended the deadline for the study of the Cairns Shipping Development project FOUR times, once in 2014, twice in 2015 and again on the 20th December 2016.

CPDI Chairman RON CREW questions the process as the deadline constantly shifts. “So what is the point of having a deadline? In 2014, the project was extended beyond the government's election period and it's happening again. You can forgive our supporters for thinking the government continues to play politics by manipulating the outcome to appease Green party voters in Brisbane.”

“We have been well advised that this is costing our local businesses at least $60 million a year in lost earnings, and the project has been slashed to one quarter of the original size. The study's cost to the taxpayer is nearly $8 million alone. This is all for a project that is estimated to cost in total, about $120 million to deliver.”

“Today we had a repeat of a great loss, when cruise ship Radiance of the Seas, due to arrive at Yorkeys Knob this morning, cancelled her shore excursions due to wind. She carries 2500 passengers. If the dredging gets done this class of ship can berth in Cairns and there would be no disappointed passengers or tour operators. They had 4 passenger boats standing by, 3 came from Townsville to conduct ship to shore transfers. This is a costly exercise and everyone has lost out.”

 “In the meantime, the Townsville Port project is soon to be approved with an estimated $1.64 billion spend on upgrades. Brisbane colleagues, Cairns is NOT A SUBURB OF TOWNSVILLE. Cairns is four hours drive North of Townsville. Cairns Port services Far North Queensland which has the largest regional population in Northern Australia.”

“It is too little, too late and we are getting a boutique port whether we like it or not.”   

“Can we remind the public that we have yet to see the revised project in detail that is well overdue. The public should be aware that under the Queensland Government’s Sustainable Ports Development Act, if the Environmental Impact Study lapses Cairns will be barred from upgrading its Seaport.  The public should also be aware that even if this project is completed, this damaging legislation bans any further capital works dredging of Cairns Seaport.”


For further interview opportunities, contact: E:

P: 40531274

Cairns Port Development Inc. President: Ron Crew | P: 0427 964917








3 February 2017


Ports North and the Queensland Government have days to complete and approve the Cairns Shipping Development Project Environmental Impact Study.  30 June 2017 is the deadline and we are counting down.  To date the study, begun in 2012, has cost taxpayers more than $7.5m.

In 2015-16, the project was hampered by politics and down-scaled to a quarter of the original size. The public have yet to see the revised project in detail that is well overdue. The public should be aware that under the Queensland Government’s Sustainable Ports Development Act, if the Environmental Impact Study lapses on 30th June 2017, the project will be dead.  Cairns will be barred from upgrading its Seaport.  The public should also be aware that even if this project is completed, this damaging legislation bans any further capital works dredging of Cairns Seaport.

CPDI Chairman, RON CREW, suspects that the Report, prepared by consultants retained by Ports North, has been 'shelved’ or ‘buried' by the state government, which seems determined to ensure that the port of Cairns is confined to the restricted status of a 'boutique port'.

"We accept that Ports North has done all it can to achieve a measure of improvement in Cairns Seaport's capacity to accommodate larger vessels.  For example, the home-porting of the luxury liner Pacific Eden potentially generates six million dollars to local businesses.  At least our port is now capable of berthing ships of up to 70,000 tonnes but that is a tiny portion in comparison to the business that may be generated.”

“Today we still have more cruise ship passengers sitting off Yorkey's Knob than arrive into the city's Port. Ports North has increased the number of ships berthing but on average they have 900 passengers and those sitting off Yorkey's about 2000 passengers.”  

 “Almost all new luxury liners and most naval, cargo and fuel vessels are getting larger.  So Cairns Seaport still faces the problem of not having the capacity to handle modern shipping.  It was our hope that Ports North’s 'Cairns Shipping Development Project’ report would address this serious shortfall"

"Of special concern is the fact that the shareholding ministers can personally overrule any or all recommendations that the ‘missing’ Report makes.  I call on Ports North Chairman, Russell Beer, and his colleagues, to make the Report public without further delay.   Mr. Beer will be aware that upgrading the port has the overwhelming support of the Far North Queensland community – and I feel fairly sure he would want the Report to be made public as soon as possible".


CLICK HERE to email Ports North, asking for the following:

Dear Chairman, Please release the revised Cairns Shipping Development Project EIS report and make it available to the public without further delay. 








18 April 2016

Cairns Port Demands Commonwealth Support  

Cairns Port Development Inc. (CPDI), an organisation of concerned citizens working towards the long over-due modernisation of Cairns Sea Port, has urged the Commonwealth Government to accept that it must play a positive role by committing at least $100m to the Cairns Shipping Development Project and partnering with the State to deliver the project.

Prospects of the Cairns Shipping Development project proceeding are heavily impacted by the Commonwealth Governments Reef 2050 Plan ban on offshore placement.  In effect, cost of onshore placement, while potentially being recovered in the long term, will at least double the immediate cost of the project.

Minister for the Environment, Hon. Greg Hunt has stated in correspondence to CPDI that the Reef 2050 Plan does not prevent the Project proceeding. CPDI. has responded by demanding the Commonwealth funds at least $100m to ensure the project proceeds or the Ministers statement appears plainly false and misleading.

 A spokesperson for CPDI makes the following points:

  1.  If the Commonwealth Government does not provide this funding, there is a moral responsibility to compensate the Far North Queensland region for major loss of future income that will amount to billions of dollars.
  2. The Commonwealth Government, despite scientific evidence that the offshore placement involved would not affect the Great Barrier Reef near Cairns, made the critical decision to ban offshore placement.  Subsequently it must accept the severe consequences for the development of the Port of Cairns by becoming a partner with the Queensland Government and provide part funding the Port’s upgrade.
  3. The Cairns Seaport also plays a critical role in the wider regional economy. Respected regional business economist Bill Cummings said that "Although reef tourism is an important part of the Cairns' economy, it is not threatened by the deepening of the port”.  “There is a need to take into account the interests of the 80% plus of employment in the region not related to tourism".
  4. Apart from the benefits to the Cairns economy of a more efficient Port for cruise and cargo vessels, making a contribution to the upgrading of Cairns Seaport is very consistent with the objectives of the Defence White Paper adopted by the Government that is reported to provide for further investment in the Port of Cairns as Australia’s strategic north eastern naval defence operations centre, estimated to be $2bn over time and involving the location of 3,000 personnel.
  5. The broader public know how important this project is to the regional economy. Recent professional surveying indicates that there is overwhelming support for upgrading the Seaport with 82% ‘for’ the project.
  6. The recently re-elected Mayor of Cairns, with 66% of the popular vote, supports the Cairns Seaport project as it affects the vital interests of the region.
  7. Upgrading the Cairns Seaport will be a very big issue in the forthcoming federal election.
  8. Cairns Port Development Inc., purposefully established in 2015 when the project began to stall, delivered a petition to the Queensland Parliament, raising over 6000 signatures in three weeks.  It now has over 10,000 supporters who will in turn support federal election candidates that can fully commit to the long over-due upgrade of Cairns Seaport as an urgent matter. 

Cairns Port Development Inc are calling for certainty and a direct investment rather than funding from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility. The organisation is also requesting support for an independent review of the Cairns Shipping Development Project Environmental Impact Study being produced by the proponent, Ports North a Queensland Government owned corporation.


For further interview opportunities, contact: E:

Media contact: Cairns Port Development Inc. Secretary: Emma Thirkell | P: 0417 713634 





7th March 2016

We would like to share with you a report that has been submitted on the 1st March 2016

To the  Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk, Hon Curtis Pitt, Hon Dr Anthony Lynham, Hon Mark Bailey and Hon Dr Steven Miles.

The report explains how the reasons given for delaying Cairns Port development have been overcome. 

The report recommends how they can now expedite this development so the Cairns Region’s businesses and communities can gain the massive benefits from this development as soon as possible.  The costs to the State would be far lower than the Ports North draft EIS projected, and could even be zero.  The great majority of voters in the Cairns Region strongly support the proposed port development.

Please spend a couple of minutes reading the report’s one-page Executive Summary.  This should convince you that your taking immediate action to expedite this proposal is practical, timely and vital for the Cairns Region.

Please take a further few minutes to send an email to Ports North, the Queensland State Government Minister for Ports and others that may include this demand:

“As a voter and Cairns Region resident, I demand that the Cairns Port Project that widens and deepens the shipping channel be expedited.  I will not accept further delay, and I insist that I and the general public be kept frequently and fully informed.”

Email: CEO of Ports North:
Email: Hon. Mark Bailey, Ministers for Ports:
Email: Hon. Curtis Pitt, Member for Mulgrave:
Email: Hon. Rob Pyne, Member for Cairns:

Please forward this message and ask people to join Cairns Port Development Inc. Let's make 2016 the year we got the Port of Cairns back on track.    

Thank you for your time.    

Kind regards,

Peter Campion
Peter Senior
Norm Whitney
and Cairns Port Development Inc. 




12 November 2015

 Cairns Port ‘Teaspoon’ Bill not enough sugar to make the medicine go down.

"Two weeks ago, we were aware that the Cairns Chamber of Commerce was fulsomely supporting the deepening of the port – by calling for amendments to the Queensland Governments Sustainable Ports Development Bill. Yet overnight the Chamber's management changed its mind, yielding to the demands of the state Labor minority governments offer of minor changes to bring about minimal work that is regarded as a ‘teaspoon’ in comparison to the actual future widening and deepening work that the Port must secure", said Ron Crew, chairman of CPD Inc.

The Chamber's manager, Ms. Debbie Hancock emailed the membership, enthusiastically endorsing Labor's minimalist amendment to the contentious Sustainable Ports Development Bill, current before parliament. Explains Mr. Crew: "The membership was not consulted or surveyed, Chamber management simply swallowed some government spin, which was headlined in the email to members as 'Very Exciting News' – and unquestioningly recited Labor's spurious claims about their amendment".

Mr Crew is equally appalled by an identical backflip by Advance Cairns, which also supported port expansion until duchessed by "Labor lies".   Notes Mr. Crew: "Advance Cairns C.E.O Mark Matthews seems willing to accept "collateral damage to Cairns", which is precisely what the amendment delivers".

Mr Crew reports that they had been speaking with the CEO’s from the organisations this week. “They were offered a supporting role in the LNP proposed amendment that called for the Bill to be suspended until the Cairns Shipping Development Project was secured. They were also offered the Katter Australia Party amendment that excised the Ports of Cairns and Mourilyan from the Bill until the Cairns Shipping Development Project was secured.” “They declined to support both”, said Mr Crew.

The Queensland Parliaments Hansard records the outstanding support Cairns and Far North Queensland received from Mr. Andrew Cripps, Member for Hinchinbrook and other senior members of the opposition. Mr Robbie Katter, Member for Mount Isa and Mr Shane Knuth, Member for Dalrymple have also provided an extraordinary amount of support for the Port of Cairns. Mr Crew thanks them for the commitment they have shown.

“The stance taken by Advance Cairns and the Cairns Chamber of Commerce damaged the chances of either amendment winning the day and presented a fragmented position for Cairns in the Parliament.” “It was sad to watch especially after being told by the organisations that they could not be helped by the opposition or the cross benchers”. “So we arranged this for them and they declined the opportunity.” “In addition, I asked to go with Mark Mathews to speak with Minister Lynham in September and he refused to take me”.

"As Mayor Bob Manning has continually stressed, the so-called 'Priority Ports' legislation enforces a cap on Cairns future growth and the Cairns Shipping Development Project is less than secure.”

"Both the Chamber and Advance Cairns are well aware of these facts, as fortunately are most of the respective memberships of both organizations, yet the management of both have un-wittingly, but all too willingly, allowed themselves to become tools of an A.L.P. agenda.   Specifically the Labor Party's desire to appease the Greens for the purpose of securing Green preferences at the next election".

"The wider Cairns community has 'seen-through' the outright lies of environmental extremists like CAFNEC, which falsely asserted that advocates of port deepening were "seeking an industrial mega port like Gladstone Harbour", but we're candidly appalled that the managements of the Cairns Chamber of Commerce and Advance Cairns could so easily lap-up what is nothing more than half-clever Labor Party 'spin'."

"The simple fact is that the widening and deepening of the shipping channel is vitally necessary for the economic future of our city and our region.   We understand that this is of precious little concern to the south-east-corner-centric state government ".

"Their ill-judged support for Labor's pathetic amendment was seized-upon by Minister Lynham in parliament - who slyly asserted that the managements of the Chamber and Advance Cairns had the authority to speak for the entire Far North Queensland community - in offering their glowing endorsements of the government's position, they were NOT in fact even necessarily speaking for their own memberships".


For further interview opportunities, contact: E:

Media contact: Mr Chris Forsberg | P: 40332619

Cairns Port Development Inc. President: Ron Crew | P: 0427 964917 




4 November 2015

 Ports Development Chairman Critical of Compromise

Cairns Port Development Chairman RON CREW welcomes the valid criticisms of the state government's proposed amendment to the contentious Sustainable Ports Development Bill by Cairns Mayor Bob Manning.

"The mayor is absolutely correct - the government's pathetic proposed limit on port dredging to just 50,000 cubic metres for any single project severely inhibits the proper development of the Port.  And the mooted limit of just 150,000 cubic metres over a four year period obviously restricts the Port to just three single projects in that time span".

"Clearly, these draconian restrictions on port growth will prohibit deepening to the depth required by the larger cruise liners that are currently compelled to moor off-shore, or give Cairns 'a miss' altogether as they're unable to berth in our city." “It also compromises operational efficiencies that ultimately costs our businesses relying on fuel and cargo transport.” “HMAS Cairns, Australia’s third largest Navy base cannot berth HMAS Canberra and the new larger Navy vessels.”     

"Mayor Manning is quite right in observing that the government's proposed amendment does not allow Cairns to be more competitive in its bid for the pending Navy Patrol Boat contract”.

"The government's suggested amendment (to the Bill) is not, as they're claiming, a "compromise" - in fact they are heavy-handed restrictions designed to condemn Cairns to the status of a 'boutique port'.

"He's also correct in saying that 'as Cairns grows, the port needs to grow with it'.   Effectively, the state government seeks to shrink our port, which can only disadvantage not just Cairns but the entire FNQ region".  



For further interview opportunities, contact: E:

Media contact: Mr Chris Forsberg | P: 40332619

Cairns Port Development Inc. President: Ron Crew | P: 0427 964917 






23 October 2015


says CPDI Chairman Ron Crew

Cairns Port Development chairman RON CREW condemns the Cairns & Far North Environment Centre for what he describes as "bald-faced lies", published in a full page Cairns Post 'Open Letter' advertisement.

"CAFNEC are continuing to peddle the falsehood that advocates of port deepening are seeking an "industrial mega port that allows unlimited capital dredging" unquote. Worse, CAFNEC are nonsensically claiming that "Cairns risks become an industrial port like Gladstone." unquote, supporting this blatant untruth with a photograph of Gladstone port on a brochure that's been handed-out all over F.N.Q."

Ron Crew reiterates: "We have never advocated a 'mega port' - it's a mega PORKY on the part of CAFNEC environmental extremists.  Nor would any sensible person foresee Cairns as "an industrial port", we are merely seeking government approval to allow Cairns to meet the demands of modern shipping, allowing larger cruise liners and the ships of our Navy and those of our allies to berth in the city".

Ron expresses sympathy for the near one-hundred small business owners and tourist operators who have 'signed' CAFNEC's open-letter advertisement.  "They have been seriously misled, tricked in to supporting what's largely a pack of lies"....

"In fact, CPDI is endeavouring to SUPPORT enterprises exactly like theirs – by ensuring that Cairns and Port Douglas are given opportunity to host passengers off cruise ships that currently moor off-shore, where countless passengers, many of them wealthy retirees, decline to be ferried to a jetty for a bus transfer to the city. Even a mild sea-swell discourages older passengers from transferring, and the very businesses conned in to supporting CAFNEC's advertisement miss-out on the money they would spend".

"CAFNEC are also repeating their furphy that dredging the port of Cairns would cost "up to or over $400 million", having reduced this ridiculous claim by $40 million: their brochure stated $440 million.    Neither figure is anywhere near the truth,

CPDI have expert advice that the real cost would be in the realm of $200 million, half CAFNEC's vastly exaggerated figure".

Ron recalls that CAFNEC were equally shrill in their opposition to SkyRail, which is now a major environmental asset.   "Dredging the port is no greater "threat to the environment" than was SkyRail - CPDI have always advocated the disposal of dredge spoil on LAND, and CAFNEC are clearly oblivious of the fact that much of Cairns City itself is built on land that was reclaimed by dredge fill".

"I urge everyone to ignore CAFNEC's scurrilous use of blatant scare tactics and outright lies - and, again, I don't for a moment blame the business-folk who 'signed' their support for CAFNEC's open-letter advertisement - they have been well and truly tricked".


For further interview opportunities, contact: E:

Media contact: Mr Chris Forsberg | P: 40332619

Cairns Port Development Inc. President: Ron Crew | P: 0427 964917 





30 September 2015


says CPDI Chairman Ron Crew

Chairman of Cairns Port Development Inc. RON CREW says he is suspicious of claims by activists opposed to Cairns port modernisation that a "Mega Port" is planned.

"Nothing could be further from the truth", says Mr. Crew, "the 'mega port' claim implies a major industrial port on the scale of Gladstone - the people objecting to sensible port development for Cairns are shamelessly misrepresenting the facts".

"CPDI have never advocated a port of the size and scale that our opponents are falsely claiming - our state's few large ports that handle coal and mineral exports might be described as 'mega' - FNQ residents can be absolutely assured that our organization proposes nothing like these industrial ports, besides the Port of Cairns does not export coal, never has, never will".

"Compared to the coal and mineral export ports, our proposal for Cairns seeks essential deepening and widening to allow berthing by larger cruise liners, fuel and freight vessels, and the bigger ships of the Royal Australian Navy and our allies." “Unfortunately the legislation before the Queensland Parliament on the issue, has crippled the future of even small and moderate work for the Cairns’ Port and we have to address that now.”  

"People opposed to the preservation of Cairns Port's existing status are deliberately misleading the community - it has to be emphasized: CPDI does NOT WANT a 'Mega Port', we have never advocated a 'Mega Port', and it's deeply disturbing that our opponents have resorted to such a blatant scare tactic. 'Mega Port' is a mega porky, and I urge the Cairns community to regard this demonstrably false claim with the contempt it deserves".


For further interview opportunities, contact: E:

Media contact: Mr Chris Forsberg | P: 40332619

Cairns Port Development Inc. President: Ron Crew | P: 0427 964917 







18 September 2015


State Government Backs-Off Contentious Ports Bill

The State Government's decision to postpone a parliamentary vote on the controversial Sustainable Ports Development Bill 2015 has been cautiously welcomed by Cairns Port Development Chairman Ron Crew.

“The Bill as currently formulated would be a disaster for Cairns and the region's future development.  It would be quite wrong for Cairns and Mourilyan to be locked into not being able to upgrade port capacity to meet modern shipping and future navy needs.”

“The Parliament's own committee unanimously agreed with the representations put forward by the Cairns community that the Bill was flawed.  It is clear that the Cairns and region community want Cairns and Mourilyan seaports able to be deepened and upgraded.”

“On Tuesday I presented a petition of over 6,000 signatures to the parliament.  The State Government now needs to scrap the Bill as currently formulated and work with the wider Cairns community and the Commonwealth Government to find a satisfactory way forward.”

Mr. Crew notes that even government MP Glenn Butcher, who was one of three government members along with three opposition members who all agreed to support Cairns receiving priority port status, warmly endorsed Cairns claim to port expansion.

Quoting Mr. Butcher, "We wish to make it clear that we do not want the economic development of Cairns to be shut down. However, we do not support the at-sea disposal of dredge spoil."

Ron Crew agrees wholeheartedly with Mr. Butcher, "Our group accepts the decision to ban offshore placement.  We believe that placement on degraded land at East Trinity is ideally suited for rehabilitation reclamation and ultimate development for recreational parkland and residential usage."


For further interview opportunities, contact: E:

Media contact: Mr Chris Forsberg | P: 40332619

Cairns Port Development Inc. President: Ron Crew | P: 0427 964917 




2 September 2015

Port Development Chairman Welcomes Parliamentary Report Endorsing Cairns as Priority Port
A parliamentary committee has unanimously voted in favour of Cairns being declared a Priority Port, thus endorsing the deepening and widening of the Port.   The committee's report was warmly welcomed by Cairns Port Development Chairman RON CREW, who has led the 'Save Our Port' campaign that has attracted wide public support throughout the city and region.
A delighted Mr. Crew notes that the committee included two MPs of the state Labor government as well as LNP MPs and Shane Knuth MP of the Katter Party.
"That all the parliamentarians agree with our position is really heartening - and I must stress that they did so following - in the very words of their comprehensive report - "after considered assessment of the impacts on the Great Barrier Reef".
Ron emphasizes another committee finding: Cairns as a Priority Port will deliver "economic benefits to the Cairns region".    
"The committee also considered the government's previous commitments to UNESCO and the ramifications of the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan - yet unanimously supported Cairns recognition as a Priority Port."
Mr Crew concedes that the actual legislation that would confirm Cairns Priority Port status is still "in the balance" -and has vowed to continue the 'Save Our Port' campaign.
"Our petition has been solidly supported by the Far North Queensland public, and we already have thousands of signatures. I would urge people who have yet to sign our petition to do so very soon, as the closing date is very near, September 10. It is critical that we get the completed petition to the state government before September 15, when the legislation goes before parliament.
"We're receiving marvelous support from the entire community - and I would especially like to thank the local groups that have been of invaluable assistance, including Advance Cairns, Cairns Chamber of Commerce, Cairns Regional Council, the Cairns branch of the Maritime Union and Urban Development Institute of Australia".

We enclose below Committee Recommendation 12 

The committee unanimously recommends the Minister considers declaring the Port of Cairns as a
priority port following a considered assessment of:
· the environmental impacts on the Great Barrier Reef
· the economic benefits to the Cairns region, and
· the government’s commitments made to UNESCO and under the Reef 2050 Long-Term
Sustainability Plan.
Please contact Chris Forsberg 40 33 2619. Email: admin@cairns
Chairman: Ron Crew Phone 40551733

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