A PLANNED $100 million cruise terminal at the mouth of the Brisbane River is set to be fast-tracked by the State Government to deal with an expected cruise boom over the next few years.
Port of Brisbane has submitted a “market-led proposal” to the Government for the project, which could see a new terminal funded by major cruise operators Carnival and Royal Caribbean within three years.
The Government is set to give approval at its first Cabinet meeting this month on January 25 after being briefed by both Carnival and Royal Caribbean.
The Port of Brisbane last year earmarked land for the terminal near Luggage Point to replace the ad hoc facility now used for large vessels that cannot dock upstream at Hamilton.
The terminal, planned for a 20ha site on the northern side of the Brisbane River, will be able to cater for supersized liners, such as the 345m Queen Mary 2.
Australia’s $3.2 billion cruise industry is increasingly dominated by super vessels, which can cater for up to 3000 passengers.
The “market-led proposal” system was introduced by the State Government last year to speed up infrastructure projects, particularly transport links. It involves the private sector seeking exclusive rights from the Government to build a particular project.
Port officials said the Luggage Point anchorage would allow the safe docking of larger ships and was near Brisbane Airport.
The mouth of the river was considered the best place for the terminal because it was wide enough to allow manoeuvring.
Ships more than 270m long cannot dock at the Portside terminal at Hamilton because of the lack of turning room in that stretch of the river.
Larger vessels must dock at the grain terminal at Fisherman Island.
State Development Minister Anthony Lynham declined to comment on when the proposal would be discussed by Cabinet but said that preliminary discussions with cruise operators had been held last year. Carnival and Port of Brisbane representatives also declined to comment