A Brisbane Opinion – Do the Regions agree?
Why the new Queensland State Government’s Decision to Sink the current Gold Coast Cruise Ship Terminal proposal is correct (Background information on the Decision from Gold Coast Business News at the bottom of this commentary):
  1. Like it or not, tens of millions of dollars of both State Government AND local government money has already been invested in the international cruise ship terminal facilities at Hamilton.
  2. The existing Hamilton facilities are world-class – and are utilised by approx. 70% of the cruise ships that call into Brisbane.
  3. The remainder utilise existing wharf facilities at the port of Brisbane – facilities that are currently being expanded – and when completed – will incorporate additional facilities for the large-scale cruise liners that are unable to turn 180 degrees at the Hamilton reach – and are thus unable to utilise the terminal at Hamilton. (point of fact is that almost ALL the cruise liners (even the massive ones) CAN actually undertake the manoeuver – but because of the separation distance to shore requirement under Australian maritime codes, the larger of the liners are not permitted to dock at Hamilton.
  4. Significant contracts exist for stevedoring the existing cruise ship arrivals – these contracts supply/cover the provisioning and supply of fresh fruit/vegetables, meats, alcohol, fuel etc, as well as heavy maintenance services – if required (rarely).
  5. Each cruise ship arrives in Brisbane (and ALL other ports on their cruise schedule) in the morning, and depart in the late afternoon/early evening.  Typically it is a 10-12 hour turn-around.  Only port of origin tends to incorporate longer stays.
  6. Cruise season in Australia is spread throughout the year but many of the larger vessels return to the Northern Hemisphere for their traditional Summer cruising season.
  7. The passengers on the major cruise lines have previously been canvassed about the facilities at Brisbane – following criticism from some quarters that the utilisation of facilities at the Port of Brisbane by the larger vessels was not ‘salubrious’ enough.  The response was that the facilities themselves were far less important that the organisation and availability of on-shore tour services once vessels had docked.
Comments with respect to the Broadwater Plan:
  1. The proposal IS NOT a cruise ship terminal.
  2. The proposal IS an oversized casino and tourist hotel facility – with a cruise ship terminal ‘tacked’ on – to be carried out in stages over more than 10 years.
  3. The cruise ship facilities would only be utilised periodically throughout the year.
  4. It has not been confirmed whether the cruise ship facilities( to be constructed in the later stages of development) would be able to accommodate the very largest of the cruise liners that currently utilise the Port of Brisbane wharf facilities.
  5. Punters on-board typically do not get off to then access casino facilities on land – as these are available on-board.
  6. With a 10-12 hour turn-around, punters will also not be leaving the ships to book into hotel accommodation
  7. The ‘new’ State Government is currently undertaking a further review of the nominated casino development proposal for Brisbane North Bank.  Both the previous State Government (and the new one) has been clear it would not support an additional large-scale casino development on the Gold Coast.
  8. The Broadwater facilities are unlikely to stack up financially without the casino/hotel facilities
  9. Approval of cruise ship facilities on the Broadwater would essentially send dozens of Brisbane based stevedoring companies bankrupt – companies that currently rely on the more than 140 cruise ship arrivals and departures into Brisbane each season.
  10. The Port of Brisbane facilities are currently being significantly expanded – this work (approved years ago) and subject to a master-plan makes provision for the accommodation and appropriate servicing of large passenger cruise ships (those unable to safely navigate to the Hamilton reach) – suggesting a potential duplication of facilities to the Broadwater belies the considerable investment that has already been made (and is continuing to be made) in the Port of Brisbane – The Port of Brisbane is one of Australia’s fastest growing container ports, and is Queensland’s largest multi-cargo port – while owned by a consortium of investors – why would one threaten the stability of a business that not only generates billions of dollars a year – but also directly and indirectly employs tens of thousands of Queenslanders.
  11. The Broadwater facilities would necessitate significant ‘new’ dredging and reclaimation works.  These would unquestionably have a significant environmental impact.

Broadwater ban triggers new race for cruise terminal – Gold Coast Business News 29th April 2015

The race to build a cruise ship terminal on the Gold Coast may be about to get hotter after the state government put an end to ASF Consortium’s $7.5 billion plans for Wave break Island.

The Breakwater Group, one of the early proponents of the cruise ship terminal brushed aside in favour of ASF by the former Newman government, has kept alive its plans to locate the facility just south of the Seaway on the ocean side of The Spit.

It is now pushing to meet with the state government to plead its case for the development which ist has described as “superior” to the Broadwater alternative proposed by ASF.

It says the Breakwater plan “removes the need to undertake widespread, disruptive and expensive dredging within the Broadwater and Seaway”.

Breakwater group managing director Craig Perry says he is hoping to secure a meeting with the government to consider at the proposal after Development and Natural Resources and Mines Minister Anthony Lynham, today said that “everything is on the table except Wavebreak Island and the Broadwater”.

Perry says the company has been “active and pushing” since it was dismissed from the original expressions of interest process for being non-conforming.

“We’re in a position where our team have funding and we’ve requested a meeting with the state government to at least table what we have as a solution so this whole process can correctly run.

“I’m not suggesting they should only be speaking to us”.

The Chinese-backed ASF Consortium has already indicated it will be reviewing its plans in the hope of complying with the government’s new guideline.

However, Mayor Tom Tate has all but given up hope of a cruise ship terminal for the gold coast, telling a media conference this afternoon that is still keen to see a multibillion-dollar integrated resort.

Tate, who identified a lack of political will to undertake a cruise terminal on the Gold Coast, has suggested the old Southport Hospital site would be the best available in the city for an integrated resort.

But Perry is not giving up on his plan, saying that a cruise terminal is essential to add greater depth to Gold Coast Tourism infrastructure.

“We’ve never stopped looking at it. We always knew the Broadwater option would never work. We were only really concerned that the government would completely throw it out. We’ve requested meetings with the state government but have had no response yet”.

Perry says he believes the Gold Coast will eventually get a cruise ship terminal and that The Spit is the only place for it.

He says the Breakwater Group has allowed for some development on the Broadwater in its original plan, but he says the group is looking to minimise this in accordance with the government’s requirements.

“This proposal is the only one that delivers an operational cruise ship terminal”, says Perry.

“We’ve overcome the issues with refuelling and we have a plan this is acceptable in all tidal conditions and in 99 per cent of weather conditions. We still need to do some high-level detail modelling, but our experts don’t foresee any complications”.

The Breakwater Group’s proposal will involve local, national and international development groups participating directly in the built form of the Broadwater Marine Project.

“It is going to stimulate the local development economy,” says Perry. “We can get various development groups to get involved in the project rather than see the Chinese group build it all. It de-risks the project immediately”.

Breakwater Group is a company led by Perry, Cardno Quensland Director Graeme McIIwain and former Australand executive David Lawerence.

Source: Gold Coast Business News – 29th April 2015 by Nick Nichols