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Lobbying to dredge Cairns Port misleading and misguided

Lobbying to dredge Cairns Port misleading and misguided

CAFNEC is countering claims by lobbyists that new dredging in Cairns Port is necessary for our economic future and reminding people of the environmental risks that would be involved.

With some pretty one sided reporting over recent days on the issue of Cairns Port dredging it is timely to remind supporters that the whole idea of new dredging for our port is ill-conceived, unnecessary and environmentally unsound.
We are reminding supporters that despite recent claims there is no need to dredge for larger cruise ships at alternative arrangements are in place and working and ship visitation is increasing without the need for new dredging. As Ports North have acknowledged to us in a number of meetings there is also no real demand for larger cargo ships.

The economic arguments for the dredging for cruise ships do not stack up as shown in this JCU report.

Dredge spoil dumping in the GBR Marine Park, Cairns 2014. (c) Xanthe Rivett / CAFNEC / WWF

Dredge spoil dumping in the GBR Marine Park, Cairns 2014. (c) Xanthe Rivett / CAFNEC / WWF

Also those who would say there is no environmental impact are just plain wrong.
Federal and State Governments have wisely ruled out new dumping of capital dredge spoil in the marine park on environmental grounds. Onshore dumping has economic and, if done at East Trinity as the lobbyists propose, environmental problems.
There are far better ways to support Cairns economic future that don’t put at risk the environment that our tourism industry relies on.

CAFNEC urges the Cairns community and the State Government to take claims from the ‘develop at all costs’ lobbyists with a pinch of salt and to stick to their guns in ruling out new dredging for our Bay.


Remind yourself of the reasons here: http://cafnec.org.au/wha…/marine-conservation/trinity-inlet/

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Referring to claims made during a recent hearing on the Sustainable Ports Development Bill CAFNEC Director Josh Coates said:

“Calls for new dredging to occur in Cairns are misguided and have been accompanied by misleading claims.

The whole idea of new dredging for our port is ill-conceived, unnecessary and environmentally unsound.

There is no need to dredge for larger cruise ships at alternative arrangements are in place and working, and ship visitation is increasing without the need for new dredging. There is no real demand for larger cargo ships.

Also those who would say there is no environmental impact are just plain wrong. To say that dredging up the potentially acid sulphate soil contaminated  fine sediments and either dumping at sea or on land will have no environmental impact flies in the face of common sense.

Federal and State Governments have wisely ruled out new dumping of capital dredge spoil in the Marine Park and World Heritage Area on environmental grounds. Onshore dumping has economic and, if done at East Trinity as the lobbyists propose, environmental problems.

Even the Ports North EIS for the dredging proposal notes that ”.. the placement of dredge material at East Trinity is not appropriate based on a lack of long term planning intent for development of the land, its environmental zoning status, prospective impacts to cultural heritage and native title, and the potentially high likelihood, severity and uncertainty associated with environmental impacts. “ and goes on to say that “Placement at the East Trinity site also holds potentially significant human health and public safety risks.”[1]

There are far better ways to support Cairns economic future that don’t put at risk the environment that our tourism industry relies on.”

 

[1] Cairns Shipping Development Project EIS, conclusion, Chapter A3

Permanent link to this article: http://cafnec.org.au/2015/07/31/lobbying-to-dredge-cairns-port-misleading-and-misguided/