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CLIA scales up urgency with NSW Government for third cruise berth in Sydney

The focus is once again on Garden Island after the NSW Government knocked the Yarra Bay proposal on the head.

Is Garden Island back on the agenda as a potential third cruise berth in Sydney?

CLIA Australasia has urged the NSW Government not to let the issue of stalled growth for the cruising sector go cold after Premier Chris Minns ruled out Yarra Bay as the potential site for a third cruise terminal in Sydney.

Minister for Transport Jo Haylen and Maroubra MP Michael Daley announced over the weekend the government was not proceeding with any proposals for a new large-ship facility to be built at Yarra Bay in the wake of strong backlash from locals.

The decision chalks off another possible site for large cruise ships unable to pass under the Sydney Harbour Bridge to dock, with industry leaders now turning their attention back to Garden Island at Woolloomooloo.

CLIA Australasia Managing Director, Joel Katz, said the association was looking forward to further discussions with the NSW Government on identifying a new berthing site.

CLIA Australasia MD Joel Katz

“We recognise there is a lack of community support for a third cruise facility at Yarra Bay and respect the decision of the NSW Government to discontinue exploring that possibility, however the industry is disappointed this announcement has been made without indicating an alternative solution,” Katz said.

“The lack of a viable additional cruise berth in Sydney jeopardises the city’s standing as a world-class cruise gateway. Establishing additional cruise ship facilities in or around Sydney is essential to the future prosperity of the sector.

“Cruise tourism is ordinarily worth more than $5 billion a year to the Australian economy and supports more than 18,000 Australian jobs,” Katz added.

“Capacity constraints in Sydney prevent the industry operating to its full potential and have flow-on effects for other destinations around Australia. Cruise industry success across the region cannot be realised without investment in appropriate port infrastructure.”

Former NSW Liberal Leader Peter Collins, who led a formal assessment of Garden Island as a viable third berth for cruise ships in Sydney, said a shared facility with the navy “is and always will be” the best supplementary option when Circular Quay was full.

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Written by: Matt Lennon
Published: 29 May 2023

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