Opposition leader and Maroubra MP Michael Daley vowed this week he would kill the Port Botany cruise terminal plan ‘stone dead’.
Given the polls are predicting the Liberal government in NSW could be on the nose, it’s a threat the cruise industry is taking seriously.
Mr Daley, along with the Member for Heffron, Ron Hoenig, tabled 10,000 signatures, collected from residents opposing the state and federal government’s plan to use Port Botany as Sydney’s third cruise terminal site.
Mr Daley told Cruise Passenger he had spoken with cruise lines and he maintained they were opposed to the plan to utilise Port Botany.
“This is a dumb and stupid idea and it doesn’t stack up economically and environmentally. The cruise lines don’t want it and it’s my solemn promise that if I’m elected as premier, that this plan will be shut down,” he said.
“There is enough space at Garden Island for the Navy to share and it is the option the cruise lines want.”
But Mr Daley could not disclose which cruise lines he had spoken to that oppose the Port Botany plan.
The debate was heated, with over 100 residents from the local area in attendance, booing and jeering from the gallery.
“I will say this to the Premier and the people concocting this scheme,” Mr Daley MP said in parliament.
“There was no warning, this was a plan contrived in secret. There was no consultation, no respect for the communities. That’s how they roll, but we intend to stop them at the border of the seat of Maroubra.”
“The cruise lines only come in and spend eight to 12 weeks during the summer season so the Navy should spare a berth to share with cruise ships.”
Heffron MP Ron Hoenig pointed out that the Opera House and Harbour Bridge were key attractions to cruise visitors and, wealthy passengers with “pockets full of gold” did not want to be sailing into Port Botany.
“Instead of turning into Sydney Harbour and looking at the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, they are going to go past South Head and turn into Botany Bay and be faced with an oil refinery and chemical plants and stinking tanneries,” he said.
But Kevin Anderson, the Parliamentary Secretary for RMS said that the plan was still in early days and that the community will be consulted.
“We are at the start of any option, you will be consulted and you will have your say. We want to hear your views.”
He also reminded the gallery of the economic benefit the cruise industry injects into the state.
Mark England, a Randwick resident said, “Building a cruise terminal in the Yarra Bay area will be a shame as it is a greenbelt area that is relatively untouched. It is a peaceful area and pristine place and people who live nearby passes through the place one way or another. I would imagine that it is logistically possible to fit the next terminal in the Sydney harbour.”