DRAFT Deputation to Cairns Regional Council April 2013 Subject: Trinity Inlet Dredging Norm Whitney & Peter Senior KEY POINTS 1. Ports North propose dredging the Trinity Inlet Channel and dumping this spoil in an extended area part at the North end of Trinity Channel. 2. Dredging spoil is potentially a valuable resource that should not be treated as waste. 3. 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. 4. A more logical and longer-term approach is to use this spoil for land-based projects that benefit Cairns economy and community. 5. 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 melaleucas. Spoil bulk-fill could assist fixing this environmental disaster.* * 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 Esplanade beach than Townsville! 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 assessment. • 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.