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Cairns Shipping Development Project

Project overview*

EIS statusApproved with conditions
Description Upgrades at the Port of Cairns to improve access for larger ships, including cruise ships
Proponent Far North Queensland Ports Corporation Ltd (trading as Ports North)
Location/s Port of Cairns. Map
Local government/s Cairns Regional Council
Investment $120 million
Key features
  • dredging to widen and deepen the existing outer shipping channel (Trinity Inlet)
  • widening and deepening of the existing inner harbour channel and Crystal swing basin
  • establishment of a new shipping swing basin (Smith's Creek swing basin) to enable future expansion of the HMAS Cairns Navy base
  • placement of material from capital dredging on land
  • upgrade of the existing cruise shipping wharves (Trinity wharves 1 to 5)
  • partial demolition of wharf 6 to allow for extension to wharf 5
  • relocation and installation of new navigational aids.
  • 195 direct (full time equivalent) construction jobs on average over the project’s construction period
  • 1535 direct (full time equivalent) operational jobs on average per annum

* Project information supplied by proponent and subject to change.

Environmental impact statement (EIS) process

28 November 2018 Commonwealth Minister for Environment's approval of controlled action subject to conditions.
28 February 2018

Coordinator-General's report on the EIS on the EIS (PDF icon 8.8 MB) released.

Supplementary documentation provided by proponent.

22 December 2017 The Coordinator-General accepted the draft EIS as the final EIS.
12 July 2017 to 25 August 2017 Revised draft EIS public consultation.
20 December 2016 Coordinator-General extended the project declaration lapse date from 30 June 2017 to 31 December 2017.
18 December 2015 Coordinator-General extended the project declaration lapse date from 31 March 2016 to 30 June 2017.
28 July 2015 Revised draft EIS requested by Coordinator-General.
29 June 2015 Coordinator-General extended the coordinated project declaration lapse date to 31 March 2016.
18 April 2015 to 1 June 2015 Draft EIS public consultation
10 September 2014 Coordinator-General extended the coordinated project declaration lapse date to 30 June 2015.
30 November 2012 Final terms of reference for EIS (PDF icon 495 KB) issued.
4 October 2012 Commonwealth Minister for the Environment decided the project is a 'controlled action'. More information
29 September 2012 to
29 October 2012
Draft terms of reference for EIS public consultation.
24 September 2012 Gazettal of 'coordinated project' declaration (PDF icon 117 KB)
6 September 2012 Project referred to Commonwealth Minister for the Environment.
3 September 2012 Application, including initial advice statement (PDF icon 2.5 MB), submitted.

Read more about the EIS process.

Further information

For more information, visit the Ports North website.

Last updated: 19 Jun 2023