South-east Queensland PBPL (Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd) confirmed it had received first stage of approval from Queensland Government to build a US$100 million facility at Luggage Point, at the mouth of Brisbane River.
Roy Cummins, PBPL chief executive officer, said the cruise facility would be "a vital piece of tourism infrastructure" as it allowed larger, longer vessels to berth closer to the city. He said:
“We are pleased the Queensland Government recognises the need for a mega ship cruise facility in Brisbane and Port of Brisbane's commitment to delivering the best possible outcomes for the State in the shortest possible timeframes. Port of Brisbane will work collaboratively with Government, all site neighbours, Council and the cruise operators to deliver a modern, efficient and attractive cruise facility."
Today there is nowhere in Brisbane, Australia to accommodate ‘mega ships' (270 metres and longer), which includes the most modern cruise vessels of today and the future. Cummins added:
"By 2020, mega ships will represent approximately 60 percent of Brisbane's vessel calls and without a new facility Brisbane, and Queensland, may miss out on future visits. The new cruise facility will also act as a gateway to SEQ for thousands of additional international and domestic tourists every year, with substantial economic and tourism benefits flowing throughout South-east Queensland.”
Royal Caribbean Cruises and Carnival Australia welcomed the decision of State Government to allow further investigation of a new cruise terminal for Brisbane. Ann Sherry, Carnival Australia executive chairman, said:
“Today's announcement means we are moving one step closer to a solution that meets the long-term needs of the industry for a modern terminal that can accommodate large ships in Brisbane. Some of the world's most prestigious ships - such as Cunard's Queen Elizabeth, which visits Brisbane later this month - currently have to berth at a grain terminal. Brisbane is a wonderful city that deserves a cruise facility that can cater for the growing number of larger vessels in the region.”
Gavin Smith, regional vice president, RCL Cruises Asia Pacific, said:
“In providing this exclusive mandate to the Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd the Government is making an important step towards positioning the sunshine state at the forefront of the burgeoning Australian cruise industry. Only one of our 25 ships worldwide is able to access the current Brisbane Cruise Terminal. Almost all of our fleet are restricted to Fisherman's Island because of height and length restrictions. In these circumstances the development of the new cruise facility on the eastern side of the Gateway Bridges with sufficient overall length and turning basin is a prerequisite to the continued growth of the cruise industry in Queensland. We are delighted that the Queensland Government has recognised the opportunity that the Luggage Point Cruise Terminal provides for the Queensland economy and community."
According to Cummins, Brisbane has the technical and financial capability to deliver the cruise facility at no risk to Government. He added it would potentially triple the size of cruise industry in Brisbane over the next 20 years, bringing 766,260 cruise visitors annually to the City and State, contributing around $1 billion in gross output annually to the economy of Queensland.
Port information was provided by CruiseShipSchedule.com where you can also read about the previously proposed "Gold Coast Cruise Ship Terminal" (Broadwater Marine Project).