in Roads, Fisheries and Marine Infrastructure
The Honourable Craig Wallace
Thursday, March 17, 2011
BLIGH GOVERNMENT TO EXAMINE INCREASING CAIRNS CRUISE SHIP CAPACITY
Ports Minister Craig Wallace and Member for Cairns Desley Boyle today announced that Ports North will prepare a Cruise Shipping Industry Strategy looking at the future needs of the cruise shipping industry in Cairns.
Craig Wallace said this $350,000 study will look at opportunities for allowing larger cruise ships into the port.
The study will look at the business, economic and environmental aspects of increasing the capacity of the port.
“The cruise shipping industry is worth around $12 million and 120 full-time jobs to Cairns,” Mr Wallace said.
“However, each year cruise ships are getting bigger and this trend is set to continue,” he said.
“Ports North has been working with cruise ship companies to increase the number of ships docking in Cairns, including assisting with simulation studies for particular ships.
“We need to look all the options to grow this industry in the Cairns region.”
Desley Boyle said: “I’m very pleased we’re taking the potential of the cruise shipping industry seriously and going to look closely at the pluses and minuses.
“Probably the hardest question that this study will address is whether we should further dredge the shipping channel,” she said.
“We need to know how effective that would be in increasing cruise ship visits but also what the costs would be and who would pay.”
The number of cruise ships visiting Cairns and the region has almost doubled from about 21 in 2004/05 to 39 in 2009/10.
Mr Wallace said Ports North would prepare a Cruise Shipping Industry Strategy which will include a detailed assessment of:
* Demand analysis of potential cruise shipping for Cairns, including international visits, Australian-based cruising and home porting opportunities;
* Economic benefits of additional cruise visitation;
* Infrastructure assessment to determine extent of channel dredging required and other infrastructure (including fuel) to satisfy the cruise demand. This will assess both the capital requirements and ongoing costs;
* Regional capacity to service home porting operations ie. airport connections and capacity and to provide provisions such as food and other supplies for ships;
* Environmental assessment to determine approval requirements; and
* Business case for undertaking dredging.
The strategy will be developed in partnership with key stakeholders.
The 263-metre cruise liner Rhapsody of the Seas which was recently in port in Cairns is the largest cruise ship to ever visit the city.
About 3000 passengers and crew from the ship are estimated to have injected about $300,000 into the Cairns economy.
With the support of the Bligh Government the new $13.6 million Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal was opened in November last year.
The terminal creates a dazzling first impression for cruise ship passengers arriving in Cairns.
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