Australia: Senator Urges Trinity Inlet Dredging
Queensland LNP Senator Ian Macdonald has once again gone in to bat for the interests of Northern Australia.
On this occasion Senator Macdonald has been encouraging the Australian Navy to consider greater use of facilities at Trinity Inlet in order to bring more naval vessels to Cairns.
In response to the Senator’s questions at Senate Estimates hearings last week, Defence chiefs indicated they will be investigating the feasibility of large naval vessels accessing Trinity Inlet.
Chief of Navy Admiral Griggs indicated that the constraints in Cairns were less about the depth and dredging of the channel, and more about available wharf space.
Senator Macdonald, who as Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Force and Defence Support is the Coalition spokesman on Defence bases, has long been a proponent of increased naval activity in and around Cairns.
Under questioning it was revealed that limitations of the ‘swing basin’ may be precluding additional defence movement in the Inlet. The ‘swing basin’ refers to the wider turning area as opposed to a linear channel.
Senator Macdonald pointed out that the Australian Navy’s largest vessels – the soon-to-be-commissioned LHDs – whilst big, are nowhere near the size of some of the cruise ships.
Press Release, October 24, 2012