Eden port ‘hybrid’ considered in state government cruise strategy

Construction on the Eden wharf extension is expected to be complete by early 2019.
Construction on the Eden wharf extension is expected to be complete by early 2019.

Using the Port of Eden as a “hybrid” accommodating cruise ships as well as a transit port with immigration processing facilities is a key factor in the state government’s Cruise Development Plan unveiled last week.

With the federal government ruling out the use of Sydney Harbour naval base Garden Island as a cruise ship terminal, the NSW government is using its new strategy to scope out future locations and opportunities to capitalise on the booming cruise industry. 

Among the ideas is to continue to grow regional ports such as Eden, Newcastle and Port Kembla said Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey when announcing the plan document on July 29.

“Our state has been the victim of its own success when it comes to cruise with existing facilities such as the Overseas Passenger Terminal and White Bay Terminal struggling to keep up with significant growth in passenger and ship visitation,“ Ms Pavey said.

“The plan unveiled today will build on the NSW government’s $17million investment in cruise infrastructure by identifying measures to reduce capacity constraints and scope the feasibility of additional infrastructure.”

The $44million extension of the existing breakwater wharf at Eden is expected to open in early 2019 and will enable cruise ships up to 320 metres to berth, as well as providing improved access for other marine-based industries.

Once complete, the government said the wharf will enable Eden to be used for both cruise transit calls and as a potential transit port for ships entering Australian waters from New Zealand. 

However, to do so would require additional infrastructure with dedicated facilities to welcome and process passengers. 

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said the measures would help keep the cruise industry powering along and support cruise tourism in regional NSW.

“NSW’s cruise industry supports 12,800 jobs and injects $1.6billion into our economy each year so it is vital we take the steps necessary to propel the industry’s future growth,” Mr Marshall said.

“The NSW government will work with industry to identify solutions to maximise capacity at Sydney’s two existing cruise terminals in Sydney Harbour, while also working with partners to support growth in key regions such as Eden, Newcastle and Port Kembla.”

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Cruise Development Plan actions

  • Prepare a strategic business case to assess the viability of two potential sites for a new third Sydney cruise berth location at Molineaux Point or Yarra Bay.
  • Explore options to maximise the number of passengers accessing the Overseas Passenger Terminal including a booking system
  • Continue to maximise use of berths at White Bay Cruise Terminal.
  • Explore improvements to operating the Overseas Passenger Terminal and White Bay Cruise Terminal and their transport connections so they remain world class cruise terminals.
  • Investigate the use of Hayes Dock at Port Botany as an interim cruise terminal solution once a long term solution has been identified
  • Investigate funding options for infrastructure to support cruise ships at current and potential regional ports in partnership with local authorities.
  • Investigate opportunities to remove regulatory barriers to entry for emerging cruise markets, including the expedition cruise market, and seek an inter-jurisdictional policy position with other governments.
  • Work with the cruise industry and local producers to understand the level of NSW produce supplied to the cruise industry and identify ways to increase it.
  • Support cruise industry growth in key NSW regions and potential emerging destinations through education and training programs, supported ambassador programs, and work with local government to improve wayfinding.
  • Build the profile and appeal of NSW as a leading cruise destination by reviewing funding options for a cooperative marketing fund for data collection and marketing with Destination NSW, the cruise industry and regions.

The Cruise Development Plan can be viewed here: www.industry.nsw.gov.au/cruise

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