Cairns Shipping Development Project

The Cairns Shipping Development Project is being delivered by Ports North and involves dredging a wider and deeper entrance channel and a cruise ship swing basin to allow access for larger cruise ships, relocation of the cargo ship swing basin to allow future Navy base expansion, and upgrading berth infrastructure within Trinity Inlet.

For information about the Cairns Shipping Development Project please visit the Ports North website.

Public consultation was undertaken between September and October 2012, April and June 2015, and July and August 2017. The Coordinator-General took all submissions into account when compiling the Evaluation Report on the project. When assessing the development application, Council also took into consideration matters raised in submissions.

View Cairns Regional Council Decision Notice

The Cairns Regional Council Decision Notice is approximately 2.4mb in size. You will require Adobe PDF reader, or a similar program to open the Decision Notice.

Decision Notice Appendix

The Cairns Regional Council Decision Notice appendices (87mb) are provided in the following parts for ease of access. You will require Adobe PDF reader, or a similar program to open the appendices.

For more information on the Cairns Shipping Development project and the Coordinator-General's report on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) visit the Queensland Government Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning or Ports North website

Cairns Shipping Development Project FAQ's:

What is Cairns Regional Council's involvement in the project?

The State Government released the ‘Co-ordinator-General’s Evaluation Report on the Environmental Impact Statement’ for the Cairns Shipping Development Project on 28 February 2018.  The recommendation of this report required a number of subsequent approvals be obtained from Council to carry out the project.

While the State has given approval for some components of the Project since the Final Evaluation Report, this approval is a significant approval where Cairns Regional Council is the prescribed assessment manager.  It is only one of a number of applications associated with the Project.

The Project is slightly different to the Project described in the Coordinator General's Evaluation Report. Why?

It is a common occurrence that projects change over time as more reports, details and information are known and issues are addressed through the design amendments.  As a result of the Coordinator General’s assessment, further information and detailed design, there are some subtle changes to the project which were submitted to Cairns Regional Council.

I thought this was about dredging the Shipping Channel. What is a Material Change of Use?

One of the approvals required from Council is for a Material Change of Use, which is a subsequent approval to the Coordinator-General’s evaluation report on the final environmental impact statement.  It is only one of a number of applications associated with the Project.

The Material Change of Use approval relates to the components of the Project associated with the land based disposal of the dredged material consisting of soft clays at the Northern Sands Dredge Material Placement Area (‘NSDMPA’) and consists of the dredge material pump out facility; the dredge material delivery pipeline (approximately 8 km, including land and sea based components); the NSDMPA; and the tailwater discharge pipeline (approximately 1.5 km).

The NSDMPA is located at the Northern Sands sand extraction quarry and waste disposal facility situated within the Barron Delta.  The disposal of dredged material will occur within a bunded area which includes the existing lake on the land.  In order to facilitate the dredge material disposal within the lake, bunds of approximately 1 m above ground level are required to be constructed.

When does the Cairns Shipping Development Commence Works?

Council’s approval allows six (6) years to establish the development. However the timing for commencement of the works is up to Ports North.

Further details about the project, including information from the Ports North about their works program can be found on their website.

I have received a copy of the Decision Notice but I don't recall making a submission, how did Council receive my details?

The Cairns Shipping Development Project went through three (3) rounds of public consultation.  These consultation periods were September to October 2012, April to June 2015 and July to August 2017.

Some submissions were made directly to the Coordinator General and were assessed as part of the final report on the environmental impact statement.  These submissions were considered part of the application process submitted to Council.  The Planning Act 2016 requires that the assessment manager (Cairns Regional Council) advise any properly made submitter of its decision.

Is my submission confidential?

Submissions are not confidential and can be made available to the general public.  Council has a legislative requirement under the Planning Act 2016 to publish a list of the submitters which includes the name, residential or business address, and electronic address of each submitter.

Unless there are extenuating circumstances around personal information being publicly available, submitter details must be publicly available to fulfil the legal requirements of the Planning Act 2016.

Can I withdraw my submission?

Submissions cannot be withdrawn once a decision has been made, as is the case in this project.

What rights do I have to appeal Council's Decision?

If you made a properly made submission you have the right to appeal a decision to the Planning & Environment Court. The Decision Notice includes extracts from the Planning Act 2016 regarding the rights to appeal.

Last updated: 25 January 2019