Queensland government scraps Cairns Trinity Inlet plans

A new cruise ship terminal put forward for construction in far north Queensland has since rejected by the government on environmental and financial grounds.

Critics have attributed the change of heart, in part, to treasurer Curtis Pitt’s Environment Impact Statement draft release, which said the development would mean dumping dredge waste on waters close to the Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef is a major draw for tourists so damaging it for the sake of a cruise ship terminal sounds counter-intuitive. The natural phenomena contributes a massive $5.7 billion to the economy each year.

However, others have argued that not enough development is taking place in far north Queensland to capitalise on tourists.

According to the Cairns Post, Mr Pitt said, “The $40 million the Newman government committed to the project in 2012 was politically cynical and misleading because it was never enough to make the project viable. The proposal, which includes dumping dredge spoil at sea, would cost more than $100 million and the land-based dumping options about $365 million.”

Although Australian law requires this document to be released, the Newman government did not release it until after the January election.

Mr Pitt added, “This EIS highlights the Newman government’s reckless disregard for the one of Queensland’s most valuable assets, the Great Barrier Reef.

“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.

“The Palaszczuk government opposes the recommended option in the draft EIS to dump dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area.”


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