Cairns Port now more im­por­tant than ever

The Weekend Post - - News - JOHN GREY Lieu­tenant Gen­eral (re­tired)

THE change in strate­gic cir­cum­stances in the South West Pa­cific and the naval base on Manus Is­land makes the Cairns port even more crit­i­cal than it was.

So I think it’s en­tirely ap­pro­pri­ate that there be that des­ig­na­tion.

It means there has to be mon­i­tor­ing, from a se­cu­rity stand­point, of the de­vel­op­ment of the port and the in­fra­struc­ture around it.

There is a re­port­ing mech­a­nism re­quired un­der the Act to the Sec­re­tary of Home Af­fairs, who has the pow­ers to ex­am­ine and see what is hap­pen­ing.

That in it­self em­pha­sises the need for good mas­ter­plan­ning for the Cairns Port De­vel­op­ment.

It is very im­por­tant in terms of de­fence in­fra­struc­ture, but also the in­dus­tries in and around the ma­rine precinct.

A crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture port is a se­cure, safe har­bour with a naval base and ma­rine precinct ca­pa­ble of sus­tain­ing and main­tain­ing naval, Border Force, and other ves­sels that by its lo­ca­tion en­ables di­rect and timely de­ploy­ment in sup­port of Aus­tralia’s strate­gic poli­cies and ob­jec­tives.

Des­ig­nat­ing or other­wise iden­ti­fy­ing a crit­i­cal port in­flu­ences plan­ning for its de­vel­op­ment, the ves­sels al­lo­cated to it and the home-port­ing of crews.

It also in­flu­ences com­mer­cial in­vest­ment and de­vel­op­ment, in­clud­ing whether for­eign in­vest­ment or own­er­ship should be per­mit­ted.

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