Melbourne would get a significant tourism boost if a man-made island able to dock luxury cruise ships was built in Port Phillip Bay, according to Melbourne lord mayor Robert Doyle.
With luxury cruise liners getting bigger and bigger, and Station Pier getting older, building a man-made island in the bay was an idea worth considering, Cr Doyle said.
From the island, international visitors could then be ferried up the Yarra River to Docklands, putting them within "a one minute walk to a tram, the iconic Melbourne way to come into the city," Cr Doyle said.
Why not think about something like an island in the middle of Port Phillip Bay? And to create an artificial island there which could have tourist facilities, where we could provide specialty docking for these super luxury liners, no matter how big, both now and into the future. And then bring them into the heart of the city into Docklands, through ferry activities like Paul Little's. And that would be a much more pleasant sort of arrival into Australia and Melbourne," Cr Doyle said.
Station Pier in Melbourne was an unattractive landing point and had significant limitations. When passengers left Station Pier they were far away from the city centre.
The lord mayor is not the first person to float the idea of building an artificial island in the bay. In November 2015, Fairfax Media reported on a proposal to build a giant industrial island near the Yarra River mouth that would be big enough for three large container vessels to berth at. The man-made island was proposed as the final part of a four-stage expansion of the port.
In 2004, a residential island made of silt from channel dredging in the bay was proposed. Then was suggested that the island / islands would be for residential development only, would have their own power and water supplies, and would be car-free.