Responsible Agency: Ports North
Proposal Stage of Development: Preliminary Business Case Underway*
Building Queensland Role: Assisting with Preliminary Business Case
Planned Stage End Date: Q2 2017
Date of Publication: June 2017 (for period 4 December 2016 – 3 June 2017)


The existing Cairns shipping channel and swing basin lacks sufficient capacity to accommodate existing and forecast demand for cruise ships and limits port access for large navy ships, and HMAS Cairns’ expansion capacity. Options to increase cruise ship visits to Cairns are limited by existing channel constraints and cruise customer experiences associated with ship to shore tendering. Other proposals such as maximising cruise ship access to the existing channel through ship simulation and improved cruise tendering infrastructure at Yorkeys Knob have already been undertaken. These options have improved efficiencies of existing infrastructure but further redevelopment of channel infrastructure is considered to be required.


The proposal is investigating additional channel and wharf infrastructure capacity to enable access for modern mega cruise ships up to 300 metres, large navy ships and to improve efficiency of bulk cargo ships. The relocation of Cairns channel’s swing basin is also being considered to enable future expansion of HMAS Cairns’ navy base.


Complete Preliminary Business Case

* A revised Environmental Impact Statement to inform the Preliminary Business Case is currently underway by the Responsible Agency.