The job-creating Cairns Shipping Development Project has been given the green light after the federal government signed off on the environmental impact statement, Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said in its today’s release.
The federal government was forced to delay making a final decision on the EIS for several months at the request of the Queensland Labor Government.
Commenting the latest news, Mr Entsch said that the Cairns Shipping Development Project represented a key economic driver for not only Cairns and Far North Queensland but also for Northern Australia.
“This is quite literally a game-changer for Cairns and Far North Queensland,” Mr Entsch said.
“The comprehensive EIS will allow for restricted dredging of one million cubic meters and will also allow for the widening and deepening the existing outer shipping channel and inner harbor channel.
“However, the EIS allows for dredging up to four million cubic meters should it be required in the future.
“It will also see the establishment of a new shipping swing basin to enable future expansion of the HMAS Cairns Navy and see upgrade to existing wharves infrastructure.
“This means more, and larger, cruise ships (up to 100 by 2031) will be able to come to Cairns along with larger defense and commercial vessels.
“The project will support 195 full time jobs during construction and create 1535 ongoing support jobs to deal with the boost in the number of tourists visiting the region.
“More importantly, this project will inject up to $1 billion into the local economy through increased expenditure.”
Mr Entsch also added that the dredging project, once underway, should take no longer than 12 weeks to complete and visual impacts will be minimal.