Mega cruise terminal gets final green light
THE world's biggest cruise liners will be regularly docking in Brisbane within two years after agreement was reached to build a $158 million mega terminal at Luggage Point.
The proposal had been held up since last month when the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission granted conditional approval for a joint application to develop the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal.
The Port of Brisbane and cruise giant Carnival Australia on Tuesday announced they had agreed to the conditions and set a target of mid-2020 for the terminal to open.
Port of Brisbane chief executive Roy Cummins said the agreement provided commercial certainty and they could begin constructing a world-class facility able to take ships longer than 270m.
"The decision means Port of Brisbane will now get on with the job of building the terminal, which is a key plank of Queensland's tourism growth story," he said.
The cruise industry has predicted it will generate almost $5 billion for the Queensland economy over the next 15 years.
But concerns had been raised the terminal agreement would have limited consumer choice and entrenched Carnival, which has brands including P & O, Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruises, as the dominant cruise operator in Brisbane for 15 years.
The ACCC granted conditional approval subject to two conditions to promote competition and choice for cruise customers.
Carnival Australia president Sture Myrmell said the project created the opportunity for Queensland and its regional ports to become the nation's powerhouse for the cruise industry's continued growth.
"It means Brisbane can take its place on the world cruising map for some of the globe's most iconic cruise lines with ships too large to use existing facilities at Portside," he said.
"The terminal will be a major piece of national infrastructure and the single most important investment in cruise tourism in Queensland in 12 years."
Currently ships that are too large for the Brisbane Cruise Terminal at Portside must use a cargo facility at the Port of Brisbane.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the new terminal would support about 245 jobs a year during construction and 49 operational jobs each year over the next 20 years.
"This project safeguards Brisbane's role as an important cruise ship port, ensuring we keep the existing 1,250 jobs related to the industry in Brisbane," he said.
Under the agreement, Carnival has agreed to pay a fixed annual amount to the port for 15 years in return for preferential berthing rights at the new terminal. The commitment will help underwrite the construction.
Carnival Australia's arrangements remain subject to approval by the Foreign Investment Review Board.