Thanks to the Palaszczuk Government’s investment in a $127 million project to widen and deepen the shipping channel, the largest ship ever to enter the Port of Cairns berthed today marking a historic evolution for Far North Queensland’s cruise ship industry.
This time last year, the 294-meter-long Queen Elizabeth would have been forced to drop anchor off Yorkeys Knob, with its 3000 passengers climbing aboard tenders to access Cairns attractions.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said that the completion of the Cairns Shipping Development Project couldn’t have been better timed.
“Environmental, technical and engineering work was carefully scrutinized over several years before work started last year to dredge 800,000 cubic meters of mud and silt from the channel, and to re-use it on land,” Mr Bailey said. “The wharf upgrades, which are the final stage or works for this $127 million project, are going smoothly and almost done.”
According to Mr Bailey, Ports North and its contractors were to be congratulated on the successful delivery of the dredging stage of the project.
The dredging phase of the project was successfully completed with the help of 111m-long trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) Balder R. The total wharf upgrade phase is scheduled to be completed by April.