Cairns Shipping Development

Cairns Shipping Development
Project Description

The Cairns Shipping Development Project (CSDP) is a critical enabler of tourism, trade and defence for the region. The CSDP aims to develop Port infrastructure in order to secure a greater share of the lucrative international cruise ship market, enhance Naval capacity and improve Port efficiencies.

Cruise shipping has grown significantly in Australia in recent years both in frequency of activity and size of vessels. The CSDP will improve port infrastructure including channel capacity to support and grow the cruise ship industry including the lucrative international market and enable growth for HMAS Cairns’ Navy Base with significant benefits to the local economy and the Queensland cruise industry.

Ports North commenced an EIS into the channel improvements in late 2012 in accordance with the Terms of Reference set out by both the State and Federal Governments. Subsequent changes including the Federal Government’s regulation on sea disposal and the Queensland Government’s Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015 impacted the EIS outcomes.

With the period for finalisation of the EIS report extended to 30 June 2017, Ports North is revising the Draft EIS in consideration of legislation changes while maintaining the Project intent of increased cruise and other shipping access to the Port of Cairns. Work includes completing cruise ship demand analysis, channel design review, land, beneficial reuse, cost, environmental and economic benefit assessment. Previous assessments have shown significant economic benefits associated with expansion of the cruise industry in Cairns.


Prioritise Cairns port infrastructure as a strategic investment in the regional economy enabling long-term sustained growth for tourism, Navy, port and service industries.  Commit to this $1B industry by supporting the EIS process and implementing the CSDP.

Kevin Byrne, CEO
Advance Cairns
07 4091 2901
Chris Boland, CEO
Ports North
07 4052 3888

Updated May 2016

COUNCIL LOCATION Cairns Regional Council
STATE ELECTORATE Cairns / Mulgrave
INVESTMENT TYPE Infrastructure
Project Location

Ports North is located in Cairns, Tropical North Queensland.

Advance Cairns supports the CSDP and the opportunity to strike a balance that protects both the environment and supports economic development, jobs and future trade growth in the region.

8+8 map Cairns
Project Timelines

The final cost will be assessed as part of the revised Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) with expenditure in 2017-20. EIS commenced and extended until June 2017.

Project Proponent

Far North Queensland Ports Corporation Limited, trading as Ports North, is a company Queensland Government Owned Corporation responsible for the development and management of the declared Ports of Cairns, Cape Flattery, Karumba, Mourilyan, Skardon River, Quintell Beach, Thursday Island, Burketown and Cooktown.

Ports North’s operations and facilities are vital to the economic development of the regional centres they service and the State’s tourism and export performance. Ports handle bulk shipments of sugar, molasses, silica sand, zinc, fuel, fertiliser, log product, livestock and general cargo. Ports North also has extensive marina and tourism facilities, particularly in Cairns.


P.O. Box 3065
Cairns, QLD 4870 Australia


51 The Esplanade
Cairns QLD 4870 Australia


Phone: +61 (0)7 4080 2900
Fax: +61 (0)7 4031 3994