RAJ REPORT

$673 MILLION GONE FROM CAIRNS if Port not improved———–IT has been demonstrated in the EIS that the infrastructure improvements associated with the project can respond to and increase demand in cruise shipping by improving access and facilities at the port and generating significant and ongoing benefits for the broader North Queensland economy. By improving access for large cruise ships to the Port of Cairns, the project will inject an estimated $673 million in 2016 dollars (approx. $27m per annum) into the regional economy and create up to 680 extra jobs by 2041 significantly boosting local business, tourism and the economy.————- Cairns Shipping Development Project (the project)

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Conclusions Following the Queensland Government’s announcement to improve cruise shipping access to Trinity Inlet, Ports North commenced studies for an EIS in accordance with the Terms of Reference from both the Federal and State Governments in April 2013. The Cairns Shipping Development Project is a community project that will support Cairns in taking its place as one of the premier cruise destinations in Australia, capitalising on the booming global cruise industry. It has been demonstrated in the EIS that the infrastructure improvements associated with the project can respond to and increase demand in cruise shipping by improving access and facilities at the port and generating significant and ongoing benefits for the broader North Queensland economy. By improving access for large cruise ships to the Port of Cairns, the project will inject an estimated $673 million in 2016 dollars (approx. $27m per annum) into the regional economy and create up to 680 extra jobs by 2041 significantly boosting local business, tourism and the economy. Port efficiencies for general cargo ships will increase and the project will enable future growth of the HMAS Cairns Navy Base. However, it is equally recognised that protection of the region’s major tourist drawcard, the Great Barrier Reef and other values that attract visitors, is an integral component of any proposal seeking to promote tourism opportunities in the region. East Trinity The EIS considered five land-based options. East Trinity was determined to be the shortlisted land-based option. An assessment of East Trinity was undertaken under the NAGD and, based on the environmental risks, human health and safety impact assessments and cost disproportionality, the East Trinity site, at this stage, was determined to be not appropriate for dredge material placement. Changing circumstances and prospective legislative changes that have arisen since the draft EIS was submitted will potentially ban all marine placement of capital dredge material associated with the Project at sea. A number of key environmental reports, port project announcements, and environmental and cost considerations could, in the future, open the opportunity to reframe the criteria for assessing the acceptability of risks to human health or the environment and disproportionate costs of land-based placement included in the appropriateness test outlined in the NAGD and provide an opportunity for further examination of East Trinity as a fill placement site option as outlined in Part D of the Draft EIS. Marine Site The EIS considered five marine-based options. The marine based options assessment included a multi criteria assessment of relevant environmental, social, planning and economic criteria and Option 1A, a site within the GBRMP, was determined to be the shortlisted marine site based on its environmental and economic performance. As the EIS determined that there was no appropriate land-based sites based on the applicable assessment criteria at the time, the shortlisted marine based site, Option 1A, was fully assessed against the Terms of Reference concluding that the placement of dredge material at that site was environmentally sustainable. The technical chapters in Parts B and C, were completed based on the project utilising an at-sea DMPA, Option 1A, which is in the GBRMP. The original placement option for the dredge material determined by this EIS is an offshore DMPA in the GBRMP (Option 1A). This was considered the best overall outcome when compared to the risks and disproportionate costs of land-based placement and also due to the Option 1A site being close to fully retentive even under extreme weather conditions. Cairns Shipping Development Project Draft EIS : Executive Summary November 2014 Executive Summary : Page 30 Following completion of the draft EIS and prior to its public release, the Federal Minister for the Environment announced in November 2014 that legislation would be enacted using the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act to ban all capital dredging disposal into the GBRMP and, subsequently, in March 2015, GBRMPA commenced consultation on this new regulation. Subject to this legislative change, the shortlisted option (Option 1A) as well as Options 3, 4 and 5 are likely to be no longer be available for consideration as placement sites. The technical chapters detailing the impacts and assessment of Option 1A were completed prior to the announcement of the proposed change to legislation on capital dredging disposal in the GBRMP and have been retained in this EIS for completeness. Option 2, the inshore at sea disposal site which is outside of the GBRMP, could still be available even with the proposed legislative changes announced by the Federal Minister for the Environment. However, this site does not have the same environmental performance as Option 1A and, based on the preliminary environmental assessments undertaken to date, is not considered likely to be appropriate. Further detailed assessment of the Option 2 site for the placement of capital dredge material is not considered warranted on this basis and this option may not be available if the Queensland Government proceeds to legislate a parallel ban of sea based disposal in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Outcomes East Trinity, the shortlisted land-based option, could be further pursued as a land-based placement option if Government assesses that the additional costs can be justified. Part D of the EIS outlines the additional studies that would be required and the range of issues that would need to be resolved in order for the East Trinity site to be considered as the preferred material placement option. Option 1A, the shortlisted marine-based disposal site, is considered the best overall environmental, economic and social outcome and, if the Government legislative changes do not occur, it is the preferred site and the basis of the project description (Chapter A4) and the technical chapters (Part B) and management plans (Part C) included in the EIS.

 

 

 

 

eisdocs.dsdip.qld.gov.au/Cairns Shipping Development/EIS/Executive Summary and TOC/executive-summary.pdf.

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