Cairns Port $127M upgrade complete

The $127 million Cairns Shipping Development Project, expected to deliver an $850 million boost for the regional economy, is one step closer following the award of the dredging and construction contract.Construction has been completed on the major Cairns Port upgrade. Finishing touches are now being undertaken on six of the Cairns Port wharves.

Contractors completed more than 400,000 hours of work on the project. This included dredging the Cairns shipping channel, building an eight kilometre pipeline to transfer silt for re-use and restoring six wharves that were built more than 100 years ago.

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the project, which began last year, would now pave the way for more job opportunities as we move out of  COVID-19.

“Our city, our community and many of our industries have been hit hard these past couple of months. The completion of this much needed work will be a contributing factor in our city and regions recovery. Today’s milestone hopefully marks a turn in the right direction for our economy and local jobs,” Mr. Healy said.

He said around 800,000 metres squared of mud and silt has been dredged and 30 new berthing dolphins constructed along the wharves using the largest diameter steel piles ever driven in the region to allow bigger ships and more investment in our economy.

“The benefits of this project will be immense and the flow on effects for our $127 million investment will be felt for decades to come.”

Minister for Regional Development Glenn Butcher said the milestone would open up a new chapter for the local marine industry, with vessels up to 300m including visiting naval ships, cargo carriers and cruise ships could now enter the port.

“It is expected to add $144.6 million in value to the Queensland economy every year as we unite and recover for Queensland jobs,” Mr. Butcher said.

“A deeper and wider shipping channel also provides the potential for the Royal Australian Navy’s larger ships and US naval carriers to berth in Cairns, enabling future expansion of defence activities in the region.”

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