Cairns’ $127 million Shipping Development is one step closer to unlocking a tourism bonanza for the region with works now underway to deepen Trinity Inlet and make it ready for bigger vessels.
Assistant Treasurer, Glenn Butcher MP, who visited the port last week, said that the 111m-long, German-built dredging ship Balder R began its task on the weekend to open up the inlet for large cruise ships after a successful stint at dredging sand for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
“The Cairns Shipping Development is the key to unlocking a whole new tourism and jobs market for the Far North,” Mr Butcher said. “Already we’re seeing this project create 800 direct and indirect jobs during construction, and by 2031 it’ll mean more than 2,700 jobs for the region.”
Under the project, the dredger will remove soft clays from the channel, which will then be delivered to a facility 3km offshore and pumped along an 8km pipeline to a dedicated site at the Northern Sands mine.
Dredging is expected to take 12 weeks and be complete mid-September, with second dredger Woomera scheduled to join the works in late July. The 65m Woomera will be used to remove the stiff clays from the channel.
Member for Cairns, Michael Healy MP, added that the Cairns Shipping Development would mean for the very first time, cruise ships up to 300m in length would be able to enter the Cairns Port, bringing with them thousands of tourists ready to spend their money on local businesses and experiences.
About the Balder R
Balder R is owned by Danish company Rohde Nielsen. It was specially designed to work in shallow water around the world and is considered one of the most versatile vessels of its kind.
Built in Germany in 2011, Balder R is 111.30 meter in length overall, with a breadth of 19.40 meter and has a 6000 cubic meter carrying capacity.
The vessel is highly maneuverable and energy efficient and has state-of-the-art environmental systems to ensure the protection of sea flora and fauna.