Brisbane's new US$100 million cruise ship terminal located at the mouth of Brisbane River at Luggage Point has 80% of its approvals in place. In early 2017 the project will seek approval from State Cabinet.
Approvals with Brisbane City Council to upgrade roads are now in place and Maritime Safety Queensland has ruled the cruise ship's "swing basin" capacity as suitable for the first five years.
A second swing basin closer to the mouth of the river could be needed after five years, Maritime Safety Queensland simulations show.
Early environmental studies show no major problems, with minor impact to mangroves in the vicinity.
In January, Fairfax Media revealed plans to build the new terminal.
Since then formal agreements have been signed with the council to set contributions to build new roads to Luggage Point to upgrade to the skeletal road connections (Main Beach Road, Pipe Road and the roads leading into the cruise terminal at Luggage Point).
Council's infrastructure committee chairman Amanda Cooper confirmed a joint funding agreement to make USD 10 million in road improvements would be signed.
Maritime Safety Queensland has given "in-principle agreement" to Brisbane's newest cruise ship terminal, the source said.
Their simulations show the swing basin can support the 120 to 150 cruise ships planned for the new cruise ship terminal.
A second swing basin near Brisbane River's mouth may be needed in "about 5 years" if the anticipated increase in container and tourist shipping demands continues, their modelling shows.
In principle agreements with the two main cruise companies; Royal Carribean and Carnival are in place and "commercial agreements" are likely to be signed after detailed talks when cruise line chief executives visit Brisbane in January.
"We have 80% of our approvals now done and we are on track to have them all completed by mid-February," the source said.
"And we are tracking to go early in March for State Cabinet approval to stage two of the market-led proposal."
That would mean a final state government sign-off in June 2017, with work beginning in October 2017.
Brisbane's new cruise ship terminal could be finished by the end of 2019.
The "berthing pocket" currently used by the vessel, the Charles Darwin, which has bought the sand from Moreton Bay to pack down for the second parallel runway at the Brisbane Airport, will be expanded.
Currently cruise ships berth at Hamilton.
At Luggage Point where Brisbane River is deeper, a new cruise terminal can safely berth larger vessels with over 300 metres LOA length and up to 4500 passengers capacity.
Queensland Urban Utilities runs South East Queensland's largest water treatment plant at Luggage Point right beside the proposed location.
Shipping volumes at Port Brisbane – both cruise and containers ships - are steadily increasing.