‘Fight for the Reef’ today released a new report into the benefits and risks of cruise ships for the Cairns local economy that was originally commissioned to help understand if there was any need for further dredging in Trinity Inlet.
The report finds that dredging Cairns’ port for large cruise ships is not necessary to access the benefits for the local area and supports the welcome decision yesterday by the Queensland government not to fund further capital dredging.
The report “Economic Opportunities and Risks of Cruise Tourism in Cairns” prepared by James Cook University for the Australian Marine Conservation Society and WWF Australia assesses the economic benefits and risks of port expansion for the Cairns area.
Felicity Wishart, the AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaign director, said the report suggests dredging the port would not necessarily lead to any significant increase in revenue from cruise ship tourists.
“Local businesses can realize the benefits of cruise ships without the need for dredging,” Ms Wishart said.
“This report has found that whether a cruise ship docks in a port or anchors off shore and transfers passengers by smaller boats to land actually makes no difference to the number of people disembarking and coming to explore the local area.
“This means that dredging for bigger channels is not necessary for the Cairns’ tourism economy to access the benefits of the cruise ship industry,” concluded Wishart.