Article – Port expansion must go ahead to ensure Far North’s future growth

30 July 2015
Jennifer Spilsbury
The Cairns Post

READY, set, grow, our headline on Page 1 yesterday screamed.

And rightly so.

All indications are that this city has much to be positive about for the future.
There are major projects on the go and in proposal and there is a fantastic attitude about town.

This city is ready to grow.

Today’s Page 1 headline though is like a footnote to yesterday’s optimistic message.

Without clear channels, figuratively and physically, we cannot grow.
We would be cut off at the knees.

Community leaders are united in their call for the State Government to amend their Sustainable Ports Development Bill and were loud and clear about their feelings at a public hearing in Cairns yesterday.

BALANCE: No-one disputes the importance of the Great Barrier Reef but there has to be middle ground between conservation and development. PICTURE: GETTY

Cairns and Mourilyan ports must be allowed the opportunity to grow or this city’s full potential will never truly be realised.

No-one disputes the importance of the Great Barrier Reef so it is insulting to those who have put down roots and invested here to suggest that we somehow need reminding of its importance.

There has to be a middle ground.

For the government to tap on the shoulder a finite number of ports in its state for future growth seems counterproductive and short-sighted. And what of the reef in these areas? Doesn’t it matter at those sites?

Recently, the Prime Minister supported with hand on heart the development of Northern Australia.

They’ll help us tackle unemployment and open our shores and doors to economic prosperity.

So here we are hitting a major roadblock already.

The lip-service is frustrating and tiring.

 
BALANCE: No-one disputes the importance of the Great Barrier Reef but there has to be middle ground between conservation and development. PICTURE: GETTY

Courtesy of the Cairns Post

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