Congratulations, the environment wins – Cairns dredging halted!

fireworksSignificant win in the ongoing campaign to protect Trinity Inlet and the Great barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

On Saturday 18th April 2015 the Queensland Government announced that it would not be funding the Cairns Dredging proposal.

CAFNEC has put in years of work informing politicians and the community that this project involved unacceptable environmental risk. We have welcomed the announcement by Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt that Government will not be supporting a dredging project which has been “ as environmentally and economically unsustainable”.

CAFNEC summarised on the day by saying in the media “This project was never necessary, never environmentally responsible, and does not represent a good use of taxpayers money.”

CAFNEC Marine Response Team members organised the event and ensured everything ran smoothly on the day photo James Berry 1000

CAFNEC Marine Response team members at the rally for the reef.

Thank you to all of our volunteers and supporters who made this win possible – your love for our FNQ environment makes good things happen. Without your support we would not have reached this significant milestone. Special thanks also to the amazing volunteer CAFNEC Marine Response Team and our volunteer Management Committee for the hours of work they put in to help make this win possible.

We need your help to bring further important wins home – please support us by becoming a CAFNEC EcoStar or making a donation. There is a long way to go to secure the health of our FNQ land and sea and with your help we are making great progress, thank you.

More detail and what now?

For the short term we are on track to avert the dredging of 4.4 million cubic metres of spoil and dumping it within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, or the sensitive East Trinity conservation reserve.

However, the announcement came along side the release of the long delayed Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the ‘Cairns Shipping Development project’.

CAFNEC photos help convey the impacts of offshore dumping to the public. (c) CAFNEC / WWF

CAFNEC photos helped convey the impacts of offshore dumping to the public. (c) CAFNEC / WWF

The EIS acknowledges that the Ports North preferred option of dumping dredge spoil at sea is not on the table due to the announced ban on new dredge spoil dumping in the Marne Park. The EIS concludes that The Ports North preferred onshore dumping option of East Trinity conservation reserve is “at this time, is not appropriate for dredge material placement”.

Public comment on the EIS is open until the 1st of June and we are calling on both state and federal Governments to rule out future revival of this ill-conceived plan by rejecting environmental approval.

Stay informed via this newsletter, our face book page and our website as in coming weeks CAFNEC will be:

  • Providing the community with advice and information to help you to engage in the public consultation process.
  • Organising events and activities to celebrate the milestone victory and move forward on environment protection. (Yes, that’s right, a party!)
  • Providing thorough feedback on the EIS to the State and Federal Governments.
  • Calling for the rejection of environmental approval for the dredging proposal.

Read the EIS at:

Best Wishes,

Josh Coates

CAFNEC Marine Programs Coordinator