. This project delivers significant economic benefits to both Cairns and the State of Queensland. The expansion of cruise ship facilities in Cairns is seen as an important step in developing increased tourism opportunities in North Queensland and to support and grow cruise ship operations in Queensland. Improving infrastructure to facilitate this will result in considerable benefits to the local economy and the Queensland cruise industry. Having an additional alongside berth for mega cruise ships based in the north of the state will provide opportunities for increased cruise itineraries throughout the whole of the state. Dredging a broader and deeper channel to allow port access for larger cruise ships will lead to the general expansion of North Queensland’s cruise industry and also bring some stability and diversity to the Cairns tourism market sector. The fact that about a quarter of cruise ships currently visiting the area are not able to come into Cairns seaport and that this was because of their size, means that significant expenditure is being lost. Looking forward, the sector is currently growing strongly and is expected to grow strongly into the future, with most of the growth being in ship sizes not currently able to enter Cairns seaport. Major economic benefits will accrue from deepening the channel and having available fuel types suitable for large cruise ships, with the additional value added to the economy estimated at $46m pa by 2026 and $116m pa by 2041. The estimated additional direct and flow-on jobs resulting from the increased cruise ship visits is 370 pa in 2026 and 540 pa in 2041. 8.2 Economic Efficiency (Benefit Cost Analysis) The major justification for the project stems from Economic Efficiency gains in terms of direct benefits. The current situation where the larger cruise ships need to stand off the coast and ferry passengers into Yorkey’s Knob and then bus most of them into the city is very inefficient; in extra costs of shore transfers and bus transfers, but also in time cost. In these circumstances also, generally crew are unable to come ashore for leave and passengers are discouraged from coming ashore, especially if weather conditions are not good. The above cost efficiency benefits are offset, in part, by higher port charges. Operating costs of coming into Trinity Wharf however, are more than outweighed by the extra crew and operating costs of remaining at sea and benefits of being able to carry out maintenance activities while wharf side. The indications are that the net additional costs to passengers and the ship of landing via Yorkey’s Knob is about $55 per passenger on board the ship in 2016 dollarsCommunity and Stakeholder Consultation This project is strongly supported by the business community. It is identified both in the Tropical North Queensland regional economic plan prepared by Advance Cairns and the Regional Road Map prepared by the Regional Development Australia (RDA). In developing the project demand study and overall cruise ship development strategy there was extensive consultation with cruise ship companies, agents, inbound tour operators, port users, service providers, government tourism agencies and other tourism stakeholders. This stakeholder consultation was used to assist key stakeholders in their understanding of the project and identify a range of information about existing and future cruise vessels that may use the port and the opportunities and constraints in doing so. To inform this IAS, interviews with key environmental approval stakeholders have been undertaken via informal telephone meetings with the purpose of obtaining preliminary feedback regarding likely legislative requirements and potential environmental issues or concerns. The following government departments have been consulted as part of this process: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA); Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) (Fisheries Queensland Division); and Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) – Coastal Division, Cairns. In general, all stakeholders expressed that the project is of significance and that detailed environmental investigations are required prior to approval for works being granted. During the EIS process, a comprehensive public and stakeholder consultation process will be implemented that will provide opportunities for involvement and education through best practice community engagement mechanisms. Ports North has an existing Technical Advisory Consultative Committee (TACC) established to support implementation of the existing Sea Dumping Permit and LTMP. This includes representatives as set out in the NAGD, and will be one of the established forums through which Ports North will communicate to stakeholders on the project, and outcomes of the EIS phase investigations.