The decision to reject Cairns dredging proposal a great outcome for Reef and tourism!

WWF Australia has warmly welcomed the Queensland Government’s announcement today that it won’t support plans for a major dredging project in Cairns.

The Cairns cruise ship terminal project was first proposed in 2012, and would have involved dredging 4.4 million cubic metres of seabed within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The dredge waste would have been dumped at sea or on the sensitive East Trinity peninsula.

“This is a great decision for the Great Barrier Reef and the Cairns economy, since it will prevent millions of tonnes of dredge spoil from being dumped in the sensitive marine environment of the Great Barrier Reef,” said WWF-Australia Great Barrier Reef Campaigner Louise Matthiesson.

“By refusing to subsidise this unnecessary cruise ship terminal, the state government is making the right decision for the environment and the economy. mo_dumping_dredge_material_cairns_harbour_800x600

“The Environmental Impact Statement for the project, also released today, clearly shows that the project would have had massive environmental impacts, for very little economic benefit, and come at great cost to the taxpayer.

“The Cairns tourism industry can benefit from cruise ship visits without the need for this damaging dredging project.

“The Queensland Government should be congratulated for listening to and responding to the best available science and economics on this issue.

“The Premier committed to a strong package of policies to help save the Reef prior to the election. Today’s announcement shows that the new Government is acting to fulfill those promises.

“Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has also played an important role in securing this outcome, by developing new regulations banning sea-dumping of dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

“Minister Hunt has spoken out against the Cairns port plan to dump spoil at sea and taken steps to prevent the spoil being placed in the Marine Park.

“On the basis of the new evidence in the EIS, we trust he will also rule out onshore disposal at East Trinity and refuse to grant a federal environmental approval for the project.

“The next step is for the Queensland and Federal governments to introduce new laws that ban the dumping of dredge spoil across the entire World Heritage Area, before the World Heritage Committee meets in Germany this June,” Ms Matthiesson said.

UNESCO is due to release a draft decision next month on whether the Great Barrier Reef should be declared ‘World Heritage in danger’.

A final decision will be made by the Word Heritage Committee at its annual meeting from 28 June to 8 July 2015.


4 Comments on “The decision to reject Cairns dredging proposal a great outcome for Reef and tourism!

  1. Wont matter a damn if the Gallilee Basin project and Abbot Point expansion goes ahead.
    But according to the new premier it will be done responsibly. The only responsible thing to do is leave the coal in the ground. Open it up and its a death sentence first to the reef then the planet. Its fallen to you Rob, you can in reality ” save the world”. But no pressure.

  2. They can build a small docking pier out in deeper water and ferry passengers into cairns on smaller boats. A great opportunity to do some advertizing.

    • There must be a logical solution to this . Perhaps building a Pier is the solution .At present veto politics( as always in Cairns) has produced a scoreless draw and a lose /lose situation.

  3. If we were not subsidizing the coal industry we wouldn’t have to put tax paying mums and dads into hock to pay for the huge debt interest, caused by billions of Australian corporate profit funneled through offshore tax havens. The people are waking up. and expecting our trusted elected leaders to be honest. What a joke the Government is..

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