Cairns Port now more important than ever
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.