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Petition: Community say no to Cairns Port Dredging Proposal

save reef protect trinity6Ports North, is proposing to undertake a major dredging operation in Trinity Inlet, however there are serious environmental risks and major community concerns with the proposal.

Given the sensitive Inlet environment, the proximity of the Inlet to Great Barrier Reef, and its value to the tourism industry, we believe that the risks are too high and that this activity should only go ahead if it can be clearly shown that the dredging will have no adverse impact on the natural environment.

Issues of concern include:

  • Direct impacts on marine life such as fish, dugongs and turtles.
  • The impact of environmental damage from dredging on the tourism industry, recreational fishing and commercial fishing including the release of potentially contaminated sediment into the greater Trinity environment and it’s impact on both human and wildlife health.
  • Impacts on critical habitat including seagrass beds and coral reef.
  • The cumulative impact of this proposal in the context of the broader Great Barrier Reef environment, other dredging activities, shipping activity, and the massive increase in maintenance dredging that would be required.
  • The environmental and amenity damage of increased (possibly toxic) mud washing up on our Northern beaches and elsewhere.

We call on Ports North and the Government to abandon plans for new ‘capital’ dredging for Cairns Port and to instead utilise the taxpayer money saved to support alternatives like cruise ship passenger transfer to the soon to be upgraded facility at Yorkeys Knob and support for small business and Industry that does not put the environment we rely on at risk.

This petition can be downloaded and printed in paper form here: petition final for web , please return filled out petitions to CAFNEC

[emailpetition id=”12″]

Community say no to Cairns Port Dredging Proposal Petition: More Information

There will be a major event in Cairns April 6th 2014. Click on the poster for more details.

There will be a major event in Cairns April 6th 2014. Click on the poster for more details.

The proposed Cairns Shipping (Trinity Inlet) Development Project would mean digging up an estimated over 5 million mof dredge spoil. Dredge spoil, the mud and other sediment removed from the sea floor, often contains heavy metals and other contaminants from industrial land uses and shipping. Options for dredge spoil disposal include dumping in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park or onshore dumping options, both of which pose risks to marine life by increasing sediment and nutrient loads and introducing contaminants. Onshore dumping poses risks to terrestrial habitats as well as marine environments. The proposal also would require a doubling of the annual maintenance dredging program, with the ongoing impacts this would entail.

The costs of this proposal would be significant with cost estimates of up to or over $120 million of taxpayer money.  We don’t need new capital dredging in Trinity inlet, it will cost the environment and the tax payer, will hurt small business and fishers that rely on coastal and reef health, and could put the broader reputation of the GBR at risk by contributing to it being listed as by UNESCO as ‘world heritage in danger’… the list goes on. The  economic benefit is questionable and can be achieved  by bringing passengers ashore at Yorkeys Knob  where a major upgrade is planned for this purpose.

A recent survey of 843 Cairns and Far North residents demonstrated a high level of concern regarding the Trinity Inlet dredging proposal. When survey participants were asked how concerned they were about the proposal over 95% of respondents indicated they were concerned and 75% stated they were ‘very concerned’. Less than 5% said they were not concerned or ‘don’t know’.

The many approved or proposed dredging operations along the Queensland coast have contributed to major concerns for our international icon the Great Barrier Reef. It is time to say ‘enough is enough’ – we do not want damaging new dredging in Cairns Port.

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