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Garden Island best option for Sydney’s capacity crisis

Tourism & Transport Forum Australia's Margy Osmond said Garden Island is the 'common sense solution' Tourism & Transport Forum Australia's Margy Osmond said Garden Island is the 'common sense solution'

Peter Collins’ reference group appointed by New South Wales Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey to tackle Sydney’s cruise ship berthing crisis has recommended the Royal Australian Navy share a revamped Garden Island with cruise ship operators.

Today’s edition of Sydney's The Daily Telegraph ran a front page exclusive story quoting Pavey as saying: ‘We’ve got solutions to enhance the capacity of the Navy and accommodate the cruise industry. (It) is a win, win.’
 
As reported here, in July Collins, a former leader of the opposition and a captain in the Royal Australian Naval Reserve, was given three months to come up with a short list of options.
 
It is understood the reference group found that sharing Garden Island with the Navy is a cheaper option than a brand new passenger port at Botany Bay and that Garden Island would give tourists a better first impression of Sydney.
 
The Collins report is due to go before cabinet and Pavey said the NSW government is still consulting with the tourism industry and the Navy.
 
The Navy has objected to sharing Garden Island on the grounds of national security. It has made Garden Island available for a maximum of three cruise ships during peak seasons, subject to formal requests.
 
'The cruise industry reference group and its head Peter Collins must be congratulated on coming up with a common sense solution to address Sydney’s looming cruise crisis,’ Tourism & Transport Forum Australia’s chief executive Margy Osmond said.
 
‘Cruise shipping is the most dynamic and fastest growing sector of the Australian visitor economy and has rapidly become one of the great success stories for Australian tourism,’ Osmond said.
 
‘However, with port facilities at Circular Quay at full capacity and an increasing number of ships too large to pass beneath Sydney Harbour Bridge to access the White Bay terminal, the only deep-water option in the city which is able to accommodate growth is Garden Island.'
Posted 11 October 2017

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Helen Hutcheon

Australasia correspondent

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