Cairns cruise plan gets green light

Cairns cruise plan gets green light
By admin

A proposal to widen Trinity Inlet to allow larger cruise ships to access Cairns has taken a significant step forward as the Queensland Government declared it a “significant project”.

The Cairns Shipping Development Project, proposed by Ports North, will widen and deepen existing shipping channels and swing basins to accommodate megaliners. At present, around one-third of cruise ships that visit the area are unable to enter the port because of their size, according to the authority.

If the infrastructure upgrades are approved, Ports North forecasts mega class cruise ship numbers will grow to 61 annual visits by 2025, delivering regional economic benefits of $436 million.

The plan will now undergo a “rigorous” assessment with the findings to form the basis of an environmental impact statement (EIS).

Jeff Seeney, deputy premier and minister for state development, infrastructure and planning called for the public to comment on the plans, highlighting the benefits for the local community.

“This would be a real boost for Cairns tourism and highlights this government’s commitment to grow the four pillars of our economy,” he said. “I encourage the community to participate in shaping the outcome of the EIS and provide input to the draft terms of reference.”

Carnival Australia chief executive Ann Sherry described the project as “vital” for tourism in Far North Queensland.

“The Government’s declaration puts Cairns and the far north on track to achieve the economic benefits of cruise ship visits to the region and its many visitor attractions,” she said.

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