The Cairns Shipping Development Project in the state of Queensland, Australia, has been making plans for several years to improve access for larger vessels, both cargo and cruise ships. Cairns is located on the east coast of Australia, about 1,700 kilometers (a bit more than a 1,000 miles) north of Brisbane and is a popular travel destination for both Australian and overseas tourists because of its warm tropical climate. In late December 2017, a milestone was achieved in plans to develop the port when it was announced by the Queensland Coordinator-General that the Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) had been released for public comment.
The Revised Draft EIS has been submitted by Ports North on behalf of the Queensland Government and in response to support from industry and business in North Queensland. The EIS is being assessed by the Coordinator General, who will then submit an EIS evaluation report.
The Far North Queensland Ports Corporation Ltd. (trading as Ports North) prepared the EIS.
Key features of the expansion plan include dredging to widen, deepen and lengthen the existing outer shipping channel (Trinity Inlet) and widen and deepen the existing inner harbor channel and Crystal Swing Basin, the establishment of a new shipping swing basin (Smith’s Creek Swing Basin) to enable future expansion of the HMAS Cairns Navy base and placement of material from capital dredging on land upgrade of the existing cruise shipping wharves (Trinity wharves 1 to 5), as well as the relocation and installation of new navigational aids. The operation it is thought will result in 195 jobs during construction. The Cairns Regional Council is also involved in the development, which will require an investment of 120 million Australian dollars (more than US$ 95 million).