PLANS for a new mega-cruise ship terminal near the mouth of the Brisbane River have progressed, with stakeholders reaching in-principle agreement with proponents Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd on crucial commercial and technical issues.
Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, Curtis Pitt, last week said in-principle agreement with the State Government, Brisbane City Council and Queensland Urban Utilities meant the project had taken a significant step forward in the government's Market-Led Proposal assessment process.
"This milestone shows this government, through our Market-Led Proposals initiatives, is in the business of creating jobs and working with the private sector to facilitate good ideas," Mr Pitt said.
"Agreement on terms between the Port of Brisbane and key stakeholders has opened the way for the progression of the detailed business case."
Mr Pitt said that planning, constructing, and operating a terminal for mega-cruise ships was challenging.
"The Port of Brisbane has had to work with key stakeholders to develop solutions that address key issues such as road access to the site," he said.
"In-principle agreement with these stakeholders means that realistic solutions have been developed and the way is now clear to undertake the detailed business case to finalise the Port's proposal to deliver a facility that will be a welcome addition to Brisbane's tourism infrastructure.
"I'd like to thank the Brisbane City Council and Queensland Urban Utilities for their willingness to find workable solutions to progress this project."
Port of Brisbane CEO Roy Cummins said the Port had worked closely with the Government to progress the project.
"While this does not mean a Final Investment Decision has been made, reaching these in-principle agreements was a key requirement of our PBPL Board to demonstrate the project's viability," Mr Cummins said.
"As a result, this now means we can progress engineering and design works. This work will inform the final business case that will be presented to Government for its consideration.
"I'd like to thank the Treasurer and the State Government for their support throughout this process, as well as Lord Mayor Graham Quirk and Brisbane City Council, and the team at Queensland Urban Utilities.
"Working together, we have taken a major step forward on the path towards delivering a crucial piece of tourism infrastructure for this city."
Mr Pitt said in 2015-16, a record 329 cruise ships visited Queensland – more than any other Australian state.
"The cruise sector already supports more than 2,700 jobs in Queensland and we want to see this number grow because the cruise industry supports local businesses and sustains our regional communities.
"The proposed new terminal will be able to accommodate the mega-ships now becoming widespread in the cruise industry.
"It's estimated that over 60% of cruise ships in Australia will be longer than 270 metres by 2020," he said.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the Brisbane City Council supported plans for a world-class cruise ship terminal at Luggage Point.
"Council has been working with the State Government and the Port of Brisbane and offers full support for this important tourism project," Cr Quirk said.
"An in-principal commitment of $5 million has already been made by Council, for half of the costs of preliminary works to upgrade the local road network leading to the new terminal.
"Council welcomes news that this $100 million investment in our tourism industry is one step closer to being completed."
The proposal to construct the facility was submitted by the Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd under the government's Market-Led Proposal framework.
If approved, the project is estimated to support on average over 300 jobs per annum during construction, and will be completed during the 2019-20 cruise season.
More information is available from the Queensland Treasury website at <https://www.treasury.qld.gov.au/projects-infrastructure/initiatives/market-led-proposals/brisbane-cruise-terminal.php>.