Cairns Regional Council will formally request that a final decision on the dredging of Trinity Inlet be deferred in its submission in response to the Cairns Shipping Development Project Environmental Impact Statement.
The submission to the Coordinator General recommends that the project be further assessed to determine whether:
- the project is supported by the best available science;
- the project will be based on best practice management of environmental impacts; and
- the project includes a comprehensive monitoring regime to measure impacts on the natural environment.
Mayor Bob Manning said that the findings of the EIS demonstrated that further consideration should be granted to the Shipping Development project proposal.
“We believe the matter should be subject to further consideration – this is an important matter for the community and it is premature to make a decision not to proceed with dredging of our port access at this time,” Cr Manning said.
According to Cr Manning, the need to protect the Great Barrier Reef remained paramount.
“A renewed commitment by all levels of Government must be made to ensure the current deterioration of the reef is addressed and that best management practices are introduced to preserve its future in the long term,” he said.
“Recognition must also be given to the fact that the Port of Cairns will need to expand to sustain future economic growth and that, for this expansion to occur, capital dredging will be required.
“Based on the findings of the EIS, we believe it is feasible to cater for our growing economic needs without any detrimental impact on the Reef. It would be prudent to further investigate these findings before closing the door to the development proposal,” Cr Manning added.
The EIS will remain open for public comment until 1 June.