Cairns’ Aus$127 mill port upgrade is a step closer after the tender was announced for major dredging and construction last weekend.
RN Dredging, the Australian subsidiary of Rohde Nielsen, was awarded the dredging and construction contract and will work with the largest Queensland-based dredging company Hall Contracting for the Cairns Shipping Development Project, in what the local Queensland Government called ‘a crucial next step in the channel upgrade’.
Member for Cairns, Michael Healy, said the announcement marked an important milestone for the project which is expected to deliver an Aus$850 mill boost for the region’s economy and thousands of jobs for locals.
Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt, said the tender would enable dredging of up to 1 mill cu m of sediment from the port’s existing navigation channel and placing the material on two land sites.
“By upgrading our port and allowing larger cruise ships to visit the region, it means visitors from across the world will be spending their dollars on local businesses and restaurants,” Pitt said.
Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said the Cairns Shipping Development Project complemented the Government’s commitment to driving jobs and economic development in North Queensland, and to supporting the local maritime industries.
“The Cairns Shipping Development Project will unlock new opportunities for North Queensland’s maritime industry and by 2031, will see an estimated 103 cruise ships through the Port of Cairns annually,” Bailey said.
“This project has undergone one of the most rigorous environmental reviews in the country, and development of the port must be consistent with our commitment to protect the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, with dredge spoil to be reused or disposed on land,” he added.
Dredging is expected occur over a 12-week period during the 2019 dry season, weather permitting.