Mr ENTSCH: I rise to speak about a game-changing project in my electorate that was announced last week.
The Cairns Shipping Development Project represents a key economic driver not only for Cairns and Far North Queensland but for all of northern Australia.
The project will support 195 full-time jobs during construction and create a further 1,535 ongoing support jobs to deal with the increased investment in our region, especially across the tourism sector.
The project’s EIS will allow for restricted dredging of one million cubic metres.
Importantly, however, the comprehensive EIS allows for up to four million cubic metres to be applied for should there be a need in the future for further expansion.
The project will see the widening and deepening of the existing outer shipping channel and the inner harbour channel.
It will also see the establishment of a new shipping swing basin to enable future expansion of the Navy base HMAS Cairns and see the upgrading of the existing wharfs.
This means more larger cruise ships will be able to come to Cairns, along with larger defence and commercial vessels.
More importantly, this project will inject about $1 billion into the local economy through increased expenditure.
The Cairns shipping development EIS will not allow any future dredging spoil to be dumped in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.
The project’s EIS has very strict environmental conditions that must be met, and these conditions are not negotiable.
This is certainly a game changer for my region, and I look forward to seeing the project get underway in May 2019.