The Queensland Government has given approval to stage 1 on the market led proposal for a $100 Million cruise ship terminal at the mouth of the Brisbane River. The Port of Brisbane has the full support of Carnival Australia and Royal Caribbean International for the development.
Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd Chief Executive Officer, Roy Cummins, said the proposed cruise facility would be a vital piece of tourism infrastructure, delivering substantial economic and tourism benefits to SEQ and the State.
“We are pleased the Queensland Government recognises the need for a mega ship cruise facility in Brisbane and Port of Brisbane’s commitment to delivering the best possible outcomes for the State in the shortest possible timeframes,” said Mr Cummins.
“Port of Brisbane will work collaboratively with Government, all site neighbours, Council and the cruise operators to deliver a modern, efficient and attractive cruise facility.
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“The new cruise facility will also act as a gateway to SEQ for thousands of additional international and domestic tourists every year, with substantial economic and tourism benefits flowing throughout South-east Queensland.”
“The cruise industry wants to expand in Brisbane, and has the future demand to support it. Cruise has been one of the standout performers of Australia’s tourism industry over recent years, and this is Brisbane—and Queensland’s—opportunity to grow its share of the cruise market,” he said.
“A dedicated facility would support the industry’s planned expansion and enable Brisbane to become a base port for international and domestic cruises and a major cruise destination.”
The proposed new cruise facility will potentially triple the size of Brisbane’s cruise industry over the next 20 years, growing to support 3750 jobs, bringing 766,260 international and domestic cruise visitors annually to the City and State, and contributing approximately $1 billion in gross output annually to Queensland’s economy by 2036.
Mr Cummins said there is no risk to Government as Port of Brisbane had the financial and technical capability to deliver the proposed cruise facility and is the logical developer of the site with the necessary experience and resources to develop and manage the best possible facility for Queensland.
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A number of things make the chosen site appealing for development into a terminal, they include:
• Deep-water frontage to minimise dredging costs and avoid restricting vessel size
• Access to a swing basin for vessels greater than 270m in length to cater for all cruise vessels calling in Brisbane, both now and in the future
• Separation from the main cargo-related activities of Fisherman Islands
• Free from urban encroachment
• Close proximity to the domestic and international airports
• Ships wont have to pass under Sir Leo Hielscher Bridges
• The ability to expand if necessary in the future.
During the next stage of the market lead proposal process, Port of Brisbane will complete detailed design and all required environmental and technical investigations, with the final proposal subject to Government and Port of Brisbane Board approval, as well as approval from key stakeholders.
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Once the proper approvals are granted, construction is expected to begin in early 2017, with the terminal being operational by 2019. It is expected to be able to handle up to 4,500 passengers. Vessels under 270m will still be able to dock at Portside, Hamilton. This will allow more than one cruise ship to dock in Brisbane at the same time.
Carnival Cruises Australia chief executive Ann Sherry told industry representatives that Brisbane was seen as a viable “home port”, while she knew few details of the Gold Coast’s latest concept, proposed by Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate.
Ms Sherry said the biggest challenge for the Gold Coast was that there was no fuel for ships.
“The Gold Coast would always only be a ‘call-in port’ and we need a home port in south-east Queensland,” she said. This (Brisbane) is the home port.”
“Home ports” are where ships start and end their journeys, where they load passengers, provisions, fuel and unload waste, she said. A call port is where you call in for a day, passengers get off the ship for a day and have a wonderful experience.”
“The Gold Coast idea was a long way down the track, technically it’s pretty challenging and Brisbane is definitely our focus because we need a new home port,” Ms Sherry said.
The proposed site is located at the tip of the Brisbane River, in close proximity to Brisbane Airport, at a relatively deserted area known as Myrtletown