Despite the claims of plans to expand the cruise ship industry to Jervis Bay being in the initial drafting stages, one cruise ship company has already advertised tickets for a trip that includes a stop in Jervis Bay.
Cruise holiday company Ponant Cruises' has sold tickets to its 'Treasures of the South Australian coast and Tasmania' and in the online itinerary for December 2021, it shows a stop in Jervis Bay.
However a spokesperson for Ponant Cruises' said the Le Laperouse ship, which has a capacity of approximately 160 guests, is an "expedition operator" which plans "years in advance" with itineraries promoted at various times from sales opening.
"We acknowledge that at present, all Australian waters and ports are currently under a Commonwealth of Australia ban on international flagged cruise ship visits," said the spokesperson.
"We have been working with the Federal Government on a framework, which would see the resumption of the cruise industry commence safely, and successfully with the expedition sector.
"It is only once the various Federal and State governments permit the resumption of small international expedition ships into Australian waters, that Ponant will recommence operations and at that time will reconfirm, through the appropriate process, all ports of call advertised."
A spokeswoman from the NSW Port Authority said that the community will be consulted before decisions are made about bring cruise ships to Jervis Bay.
"The Port Authority is in early stages of talks about how the cruise industry might look when it returns," the spokeswoman said.
"Port Authority has not been contacted by Clean Cruising who are currently promoting a cruise stopover in Jervis Bay.
"Community consultation will be carried out before any decisions are made."
Community leaders respond
A leaked section of the draft NSW Marine Park Network Management plan showed that the NSW Government is considering expanding the cruise ship industry to Jervis Bay.
According to the plan, the NSW Government to identify sustainable cruise ship anchorages and that there are "opportunities to expand in Jervis Bay".
Port Authority NSW or DPI Fisheries could not confirm any more details, with spokespeople form both organisations commenting it was merely a draft in early stages.
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While Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley said it was too early to decide whether she supports the cruise ships docking at Jervis Bay, she has asked NSW Port Authority for more details to clarify rumours.
South Coast MP Shelley Hancock said in a tweet that she would "never support the cruise ship industry in Jervis Bay".
Jerrinja tribal spokesperson Graham Connolly also said his community would "never welcome" cruise ships in Jervis Bay as it would cause damage to the native fish species.
"We as the rightful Custodians over Jervis Bay believe ships would cause destruction to our native hunting a gathering grounds, as well as our native fish," he said.
"After thousands of years of looking after these grounds would be a great loss if these ships were to dock here.
"We've actually had meeting with DPI Fisheries in the past to discuss the cultural significance of the Bay to us. We really don't find any reason to let ships in."
Greens candidate for Shoalhaven City Council Dr Evan Christen has also called on the state government to clarify whether it will allow cruise ships into Jervis Bay.
"The community is concerned that we are not being told the full story," said Dr Christen.
"If the plan is still in draft form, how can cruise operators put it on their cruise itineraries?
"The community is concerned that the advertised cruises may be the first of many, with the potential to destroy the very qualities that draw tourists to the area."
The government's ban on cruise ships has been extended until September 27, 2021.
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