MEMBER for Leichhardt Warren Entsch says the federal government has listened to Far North Queenslanders in changing the designation of Cairns Port.
Mr Entsch said the Cairns Port has been designated as a “critical infrastructure asset” under the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018.
“Cairns Port has been designated as being a critical infrastructure asset on the basis it is relevant for defence purposes,” the former crocodile farmer said.
“This means Cairns Port is the only east coast naval base and maritime precinct capable of sustaining and maintaining maritime operations north of Sydney.
“This designation includes areas of water, between the land of the port and the open waters outside the port, intended for use by ships to gain access to loading, unloading or other land‑based facilities.
“The Cairns Port supports some of our biggest industries including tourism, defence and commercial transport so to make it a critical infrastructure asset was a no-brainer really. This is about listening, acting and delivering for our community.”
Mr Entsch said the Cairns Port had also been designated a security regulated port under the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003.
“A security regulated port is defined as one that is intended for use either wholly or partly in connection with the movement, loading, unloading, maintenance or provisioning of security regulated ships under s13 of the act,” he said.
“A security regulated ship is defined as being a passenger ship that is used for overseas voyages or a cargo ship of 500 gross tonnage or more.”
Mr Entsch said the ‘strategic’ designation of the Cairns Port meant there was nothing from a federal or state perspective standing in the way of the port being developed “and we need to take full advantage of that”.