Cairns inlet spoilt for choice by dredging
DREDGING spoils from Trinity Inlet could be used to develop a second runway at Cairns Airport.
The proposal is contained in a submission by consultant Peter Senior (pictured) on the draft terms of reference to the Cairns Shipping Development Project.
It is estimated the dredging of the shipping channel to allow larger cruise liners and warships to enter the Port of Cairns would provide 5 million cubic metres of material.
Mr Senior said that was sufficient to fill Cazalys football ground to a depth of 230m or fill an area of 1sq/km to a depth of 5m.
He said any excess spoil could be used for a future east-west runway at the airport.
But Mr Senior's favoured proposal is to create new parkland at the northern end of the Esplanade.
He said the spoil could be pumped inside an area bounded by a new rock-containing wall adjacent to the Esplanade.
"This rock wall could start near the Cairns Base Hospital and curve around to the airport land boundary," Mr Senior said.
"This area, filled with spoil, could become a grassed plateau that could be used as the much-demanded caravan park close to the CBD (a The Cairns Post web poll showed 67 per cent support), with a bird-watching area on the northeast side and possibly a large seawater lake for recreational activities.
"Some further dredging to the south of the plateau could allow a beach to be created by the Esplanade and return the Esplanade mudflats to their former pristine beach state.
"These proposals would be of major benefit to the CBD business community as well as a significant attraction for all tourists, including the growing influx of Chinese tourists."
Mr Senior said the spoil should be treated as "a resource with potential for economic and social advantage rather than a waste to be disposed of."
He said it could be used to rehabilitate contaminated land at East Trinity.
Mr Senior called on the Government to cut the red and green tape to shorten the environmental assessment process so the dredging could be brought forward.
Would it work? Have your say on the dredging issue at cairns.com.au.
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