Gold Coast cruise terminal years away

first_imgIt appears that the Gold Coast is unlikely to get its controversial new cruise ship terminal until at least 2018, with confidential documents revealing both the Government and the Gold Coast City Council are in dispute about on how to deliver key elements of the project.Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate appears to be maintain cruise ships will dock on the Gold Coast in two years, previously announcing a Carnival liner set to dock on September 30, 2015, with documents obtained under Right To Information showing his determination to achieve the deadline, with council officers being secretly briefed on investigating an interim terminal north of Sea World Nara Resort, goldcast.com.au reported.The Queensland Government though has opposed the move, concerned it could torpedo the bid for a permanent facility, with Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney reported to have privately told the Mayor it will be left to the market place to determine a more realistic date, with State planning bureaucrats listing the delivery date as 2018.State planners have also warned Mr Seeney of five major risks for the Coast terminal, including potential competition from a cruise ship terminal earmarked for Luggage Point at the mouth of the Brisbane River, with a Gold Coast Bulletin report in November last year detailing how the Brisbane City Council in its Neighbourhood Plan for Pinkenba-Eagle Farm had set aside a future area for a deep-water cruise ship terminal at the mouth of the Brisbane River.Other major risks, provided in documents, show government planners have questioned the commitment of the cruise ship industry to a Broadwater port and acknowledged “community concerns about environmental harm” to the development of Crown land north of Sea World and on Wavebreak Island.Recent letters between Mr Seeney and Cr Tate also raise questions about which agency will drive the project, with a briefing note to Mr Seeney providing background on the secret Sea World Nara north option, explaining, “Cr Tate has requested his staff investigate an interim cruise ship terminal option”.  The department had concerns the interim cruise ship terminal “may compromise future developments including a permanent cruise ship terminal”. “It could add unnecessary costs on the State and as yet provides no certainty on visitations by cruise industry companies,” the letter reportedly read.The reports go on to say that State government officials have questioned the “business case” and estimated initial capital dredging costs could be $50 million, which would lead the Council to ask the state for funds, with the government having provided the new Gold Coast Waterways Authority with a four year maintenance budget of $30 million, but that did not include a capital dredging allocation.In a letter to Mayor Tate, Mr Seeney also detailed his concerns about the council’s intention of buying back the terminal for $1, which he argued “poses a risk” to securing a commercial contract, saying “I was surprised to read in your letter the council’s intention to purchase the cruise ship terminal, once constructed for $1”.  “This poses a risk to the upcoming transaction in that it significantly impacts the commercial viability of a cruise ship terminal,” the letter read.   “Further, it adds a condition to the market place when the success of the approach to market will minimise significantly the conditions we imposed.”Mr Seeney also addressed the Council’s repeated requests for funding commitments for infrastructure network upgrades linked to the project saying,  “this is inconsistent with the state’s ‘no net cost/no risk’ approach to this project”.”I propose that we await the responses to the Expression of Interest invitation to assess the extent to which the state and council infrastructure may be impacted.”Cr Tate in a letter to Mr Seeney had reinforced the council’s position to exclude Doug Jennings Park at the north of The Spit from the Expression of Interest process, but Mr Seeney replied, “the inclusion of Doug Jennings Park in the land on offer signals to the market that this approach to the market differs from previous approaches and is an invitation to the market to think laterally about what is possible, and to outline this in their EOI”.Source = eTB Cruise Expertlast_img read more

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