Trinity Inlet dredging proposal

Deputation to Cairns Regional Council
April 2013
Subject: Trinity Inlet Dredging
Norm Whitney
Peter Senior
Ports North propose dredging the Trinity Inlet Channel and
dumping this spoil in an extended area part at the North end
of Trinity Channel.
Dredging spoil is potentially a valuable resource that should
not be treated as waste.
Polls and a range of comments on Cairns media
indicate most Cairns residents don’t want this spoil
dumped in the proposed location at sea between the
Northern Beaches and the Great Barrier Reef.
A more logical and longer-term approach is to use this spoil
for land-based projects that benefit Cairns economy and
CRC is the correct body to lead assessment of options for this
spoil, and decide optimum action.
Ports North plan to ‘…enhance cruise ship visit numbers,
involve dredging a broader and deeper entrance channel
to allow port access for larger cruise ships and upgrading
berth infrastructure within Trinity Inlet.’
(Ports North AIS report, July 2112)
Ports North propose dredging ‘5,073,600’ m3 of spoil and
dumping this at an extended area near the reef out from
Yorkeys Knob.
This proposal presumably meets Ports North imperative
for least cost and compliance with State Government
"directive or policy".
Dredging spoil is a valuable resource.
There are numerous opportunities to use this
massive amount of spoil to benefit Cairns’
economy and community.
Question: If spoil is a valuable resource,
would it make sense to dredge out more
than the minimum amount proposed by
Ports North?
This could avoid ‘introducing some tidal
constraints to access by the cruise ships’*
as well as doubling the amount of spoil for
projects using this spoil for the betterment
of Cairns.
* Reference: Ports North AIS report, July 20123
‘This iterative design process allowed a reduction of channel
dredge volumes from 10,058,000 m3 to a final dredge volume
of 5,073,600 m3. This reduction in volumes was achieved
through the optimisation of channel width and more critically
by establishing a channel depth, that while introducing some
tidal constraints to access by the cruise ships, achieved
significant dredge volume reductions.’
Just one indication of the value of spoil:
Portsmith commercial area was created
using dredging spoil from the Trinity Inlet.
A deeper channel could allow larger
liners such as Queen Mary II to dock
at Cairns Cruise Terminal, and allow
great flexibility for arrival and
departure times for other cruise,
naval and commercial ships.
Imagine filling Cazalys Stadium
with 5 million m3 spoil.
Eiffel Tower
320 metres
250 metres deep
…. Or having 15 million m3 of this potentially valuable
resource available for on-land projects in Cairns!
750 metres deep!
Eiffel Tower
320 metres
Cairns would have had this
magnificent resort at East Trinity,
opposite the cruise terminal.
But the Queensland Labor
Government withdrew approval. A
still-secret negotiation resulted in
the NatWest bank being paid many
millions of dollars of YOUR
MONEY in compensation.
The next photos show what over 10
years of gross mis-management by
State and Federal government
departments has produced.
East Trinity, 8
years ago
East Trinity,
November 2012.
Note the dead
Spoil bulk-fill
could assist fixing
this environmental
* Reference: 1995 Brannock report on East Trinity, Page 5.6: 'The results of the geotechnical investigations are present in a
background report (Golder Associates 1995)…It is evident from this analysis that the composition of the material will form
an engineered fill of sufficient quality for most, in not all, the bulk fill requirements of the East Trinity site.'
Imagine you’re a Chinese tourist, or a visitor with an RV,
or a local resident, which would you prefer? This or…
An even better
beach than
Graphics by local artist, Csaba Sreder
Plus an RV-Park,
Parkland, and
a quiet bird
-watching area
Who can ensure Cairns economy and community get the most
out of this massive amount of valuable resource?
• Ports North imperatives are least-cost and compliance with State
Government directive or policy, including an estimated 2 years for an EIS
• The minimalist welcomes currently provided for cruise passengers poses a
question: is Cairns tourist industry really interested in more cruises?
Our representatives on Cairns Regional Council are
best placed to lead, expedite and make the most of
this once-in-a-decade opportunity.

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