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    Trinity Inlet to be dredged with $120 million funding announcement

    Trinity Inlet will be dredged after a $120 million state budget commitment pledged by Treasurer Curtis Pitt.

    The project will cater for ships up to 300m in length and be funded in stages starting with $60 million in the 2017 Budget, due to be handed down on Tuesday.

    The widening and deepening of the Inlet will provide expansion opportunities for HMAS Cairns and accommodate the growth of cruise shipping in Australia, with up to 37 new cruise ships expected through the Port of Cairns annually by 2026.

    But the project still requires approval from Queensland’s Coordinator-General, with a solution for dumping the dredge spoil on land yet to be found.

    Work on the dredging project is tipped to start as early as next year following the wet season.

    Ports Minister Mark Bailey said the $120 million project was a "common sense outcome" after years of delays and changes in the project's scope.

    "It’s good for the environment and makes economic sense," Mr Bailey said.