Australian Government Withdraws Funding for Cruise Terminal
The NSW State Government of Australia has withdrawn A$12.7 million ($8.9 million) in funding for the Port of Newcastle's cruise terminal project.
“While disappointed construction of the terminal facility cannot proceed at this time, we respect that funding is no longer available,” said the port in a statement. “Our consultations with the cruise industry have been beneficial in better understanding its needs and ensuring that the design of any future infrastructure will be well-informed by industry.”
To date, A$800,000 ($562,000) has been spent in upgrades to mooring bollards, jointly funded by the NSW Government and the Australian Government. This has enabled larger ships of up to 3,900 passengers to berth in Newcastle.
Troubles emerged with the terminal project last year when the Port of Newcastle said it was unable to build the planned terminal with the funds initially allocated. The government was unwilling to spend more, and without additional funding, home port capability was unlikely to be built.
Back in 2016 when the funding was announced, NSW Premier Mike Baird said: “The Port of Newcastle is the gateway to the Hunter and a new multi-purpose terminal will showcase this beautiful city and give an important first impression to cruise passengers. This project secures the future of cruise shipping in Newcastle and gives the city and the region the opportunity to compete for the growing east coast tourism trade.”
The new 3,000 square meter terminal would have been similar in scale to the White Bay Terminal in Sydney.
The project was anticipated to also deliver new economic benefits to the region by enabling new conferences, exhibitions, visiting naval vessels and other uses. Construction of the building and associated flow-on economic activity in the regional economy was estimated at A$26.7 million ($19 million).