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Construction on $127M Cairns Port upgrade complete

Construction has been completed on the major Cairns Port upgrade with finishing touches now underway on six of the site’s wharves.

Contractors completed more than 400,000 hours of work on the project, including 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,” Healy said.

Around 800,000 square metres of mud and silt has been dredged and 30 new berthing dolphins have been built along the wharves.

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Healy said the largest diameter steel piles ever driven in the region will allow bigger ships and more investment into the local 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.”

Regional Development Minister Glenn Butcher said the milestone would open up a new chapter for the local marine industry, with vessels up to 300 metres, 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,” 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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