THE Queensland Government, in conjunction with the Gold Coast City Council, will call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) to develop an international cruise ship terminal and associated development on the Gold Coast.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney last week said the decision to proceed to an EOI process was due to enormous interest generated for these types of developments, particularly on the Southport Broadwater.
"Already we have had a number of the world's leading developers and tourism groups expressing their genuine interest in establishing a cruise ship terminal and associated developments on the Gold Coast," Mr Seeney said.
"Following discussions with the Gold Coast City Council we have agreed that an EOI process is the best way forward to start the next exciting chapter in the development of the Gold Coast."
Mr Seeney said opening up the Gold Coast to cruise ships will add further vital tourism infrastructure to one of Australia's premier tourist destinations.
According to the Minister, the State Government and the Council have agreed proponents would be asked to submit their proposals for the Southport Broadwater, which would include Wavebreak Island and parts of the Spit including land immediately to the north and south of Seaworld Nara.
"The Government's willingness to participate in this exercise is conditional on the proposed developments being subject to rigorous assessment and evaluation in every respect and proceeding without financial or material risk to the State," he said.
The EOI is likely to be available to industry by mid-November 2012. Mr Seeney said interested parties will be given until early 2013 to put forward their expressions of interest.
"Our intention is to then determine a shortlist and move to a Request for Proposal phase with the announcement of a successful bidder by mid-2013," he said.
Mr Seeney said the Australian cruise ship market was a substantial economic driver, and any cruise ship terminal and associated developments would offer substantial benefits not only for the Gold Coast but the Queensland tourism sector.