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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Jeff Seeney

    Upgrades to the Port of Cairns move a step closer

    Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Jeff Seeney

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012

    Upgrades to the Port of Cairns move a step closer

    Queensland’s Coordinator-General has declared the proposed upgrade of the Port of Cairns a significant project. 

    The proposal to improve shipping access to Trinity Inlet will now be subjected to a rigorous environmental assessment. 

    Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney today called for the public to comment on the project’s draft terms of reference which will be released by the Coordinator-General and will form the basis of the environmental impact statement (EIS). 

    Mr Seeney said if approved, the proposed upgrades would provide significant benefits for residents of the region and the Queensland economy. 

    “The Cairns Shipping Development Project proposed by Ports North will widen and deepen the existing shipping channels and swing basins to accommodate mega class cruise shipping vessels,” Mr Seeney said. 

    “This would be a real boost for Cairns tourism and highlights this government’s commitment to grow the four pillars of our economy. 

    “The project is expected to require a workforce of 215 people during its one year construction period.

     “The proponent also wants to widen and deepen the existing outer shipping channel and cruise shipping swing basin and expand the existing Dredge Material Placement Area.“ 

    Other upgrades Ports North proposes to develop include:

    • establishment of a new shipping swing basin to allow for future expansion of the HMAS Cairns navy base
    • provision and upgrade of land-based infrastructure services including potable water and fire fighting services
    • expansion of the existing dredge material placement area and/or provision of a new area to accommodate dredge spoil from capital and maintenance dredging 

    Mr Seeney said the EIS process marked the beginning of a comprehensive assessment process that would look at the environmental, social and economic impacts and benefits of the project. 

    “I encourage the community to participate in shaping the outcome of the EIS and provide input to the draft terms of reference,” he said.

    Mr Seeney stressed that timely Commonwealth approvals were a critical success factor for the project.

    “The project involves dredging and spoil disposal and therefore the co-operation and timely responses from relevant Commonwealth agencies will be very important to complement our own streamlined approval approaches,” he said. 

    The draft terms of reference can be viewed on-line at or at the following locations from Tuesday 2 October to close of business on Monday 29 October 2012:

    • Cairns Regional Council Library, 151 Abbott St, Cairns
    • State Library of Queensland, Cultural Centre, Stanley Place, South Bank, Brisbane  

    All public submissions should be made in writing and received by the Coordinator-General by 5pm on Monday 29 October 2012. 

    Post: The Coordinator-General

    c/- EIS project manager – Cairns Shipping Development project

    Significant Projects Coordination

    Office of the Coordinator-General

    PO Box 15517

    City East QLD 5002


    [ENDS] 25 September 2012 

    Media Contact: John Wiseman – 0409 791 281