Cairns and Far North Environment Centre (CAFNEC) has welcomed the State Government’s statements that the Cairns Dredging proposal will not proceed. This announcement comes alongside the long delayed release of the Environmental Impact Statement for public comment.
For legal reasons the Environmental Impact Statement for this project is still being released and CAFNEC will be going over this with a fine toothed comb. Community input into this is still important to help ensure that we do not see a return to this ill-conceived project in the future.
Visit http://cairnssdp.dsd.qld.gov.au to download the draft EIS and make an online submission.
This announcement represents vindication for the years of work CAFNEC has put into informing the community, Government and stakeholders about the environmental risks of this project. Big thank you to all our supporters – stay tuned for more on this in coming days.
Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt Said:
“The proposal, which includes dumping dredge spoil at sea, would cost more than $100 million and the land-based dumping options around $365 million.
“It was never fully-funded and anyone who looks at the proposal and its environmental and economic impacts can see why the government is not proceeding with it.”
CAFNEC Marine Programs Coordinator Josh Coates said:
“This announcement is good news for Cairns and the tourism and fisheries businesses that rely on a healthy reef and marine environment.”
“CAFNEC has for years been saying that this project does not sack up environmentally or financially, it is heartening to hear the same common sense sentiments from a Government that has listened to the science and the people.”
“This project was never necessary, never environmentally responsible, and does not represent a good use of taxpayers money. The fact is that there is no need to expand to the port for larger cruise ships, which continue to visit Cairns transporting passengers to shore at Yorkeys Knob.”
“We have welcomed the State and Federal Government’s commitment to put a stop to new dredge spoil dumping offshore in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. While this has effectively stopped dredging in Cairns this ban should be extended to all World Heritage areas to address dumping proposals elsewhere in Queensland.”
“With onshore dumping options environmentally risky and not cost effective we need to bury this ill-conceived project once and for all.”
“While the Government is ruling out funding this project and has released the EIS for legal reasons it is still important that people have their say, we need to ensure that in the future we do not see a return to unwise, environmentally damaging projects such as this one.”
Media contact: Josh Coates, Marine Programs Coordinator, (07) 4032 1586, marine [at] cafnec.org.au