Cairns Airport and the possible loss of mangroves, follow-up

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Subject: Cairns Airport and the possible loss of mangroves, follow-up
From: Burnice Starkey <>
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2016 20:23:49 +0000
In a recent newsletter, Various Various, produced by the local birding group in 
Cairns, Brian Venebles wrote:

" I can report that I attended a meeting between CAFNEC and Cairns Airport P/L 
(CAPL) regarding their proposal to develop the mangroves on the ocean side of 
the airport (Jack Barnes mangrove boardwalk) in order to relocate the helipad 
and build a shopping center where the light aircraft section is now situated.

The group walked the southern boardwalk and the benefits of this public asset 
were pointed out to the representatives of CAPL.
Such things as:
• Species diversity of the mangroves and the fauna depending upon them.
• The age of the forest and its usefulness as an educational tool for students 
and as a tourist attraction.
• The relocation of this boardwalk was also discussed. It became evident that 
no where else in Trinity Bay could we find a suitable replacement area which 
had all the attributes of the present location. This is in terms of 
accessibility, species diversity (fauna and flora), tidal range, age of forest, 

Things not discussed were:
• coastal protection mangroves provide in cyclones
• acid sulphate soil resulting in mangrove clearing (such as can be seen at 
East Trinity).
• the devastating effect on commercial and recreational fishing industries with 
mangrove loss.

CAPL took the points we did discuss on board and we agreed to meet again in 6 
weeks to look at other places in this erstwhile public esplanade where the 
helipad could be built with minimal environmental damage.
In my personal opinion - the mangroves and the barrier reef are interdependent 
and should have the same protection. Secondly, esplanade should always be in 
public ownership.
We can only hope common sense prevails."

Brian Venables.

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