Cairns port expansion
CAIRNS is set to lure more cruise ships to the region following a dedication of $30m from the Queensland Govt over the next two financial years to Ports North’s $120 million Cairns Shipping Development Project.
The scheme involves widening and deepening the existing navigation channel to allow larger cruise ships to berth at the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal.
It would allow for ships up to 300m long to berth and is forecast to attract an additional 70 cruise ships (with homeporting and the Brisbane Cruise terminal) through the Port of Cairns each year by 2031.
Carnival Australia executive chairman, Ann Sherry said the plan would help Cairns realise its full potential as a major cruise hub, noting “We have always seen Cairns as a cruising hotspot with great potential”.
“This project is key to turning that potential into a reality with all the benefits that the $4.6 billion Australian cruise tourism industry has to offer Cairns and the region in terms of visitor spending and opportunities for local businesses,” she said.
Queensland Minister for State Development Anthony Lynham said “Ports North last year revised the project to cap proposed expanded capacity at ships up to 300 metres in length that now anchor offshore as they cannot berth in the port.”
Lynham said the revision reduced the volume of dredging needed from more than four million to just one cubic metre, ensuring minimum disruption to the Great Barrier Reef.
This week the revised draft Environmental Impact Statement for the plan opened up for public comment until 25 Aug.