The cruise industry and state government’s attempts to expand Sydney’s capacity to handle large cruise ships has taken another hit with a second council opposing a cruise terminal at Botany Bay.
Bayside Council has joined Randwick in strongly opposing plans. It has also been reported that the State Opposition is likely to block the move.
With polls showing Labor’s chances in a state election next year are strong, it’s an ominous sign that final agreement on a plan is either a long way off or likely to be sunk by local opponents.
Councillors have warned the extensive dredging required for Port Botany will affect beaches in the Bayside Council area like Kyeemagh and Sans Souci, which are already suffering from severe erosion.
They have also warned local roads can’t cope with increased traffic from a cruise terminal.
While the process is still in early stages, the growing strength of the opposition to Port Botany must be of concern – particularly since it could become an election issue.
Yarra Bay and Molineaux Point in Port Botany had been flagged as two ideal sites for Sydney’s third cruise ship terminal.
The state government is currently preparing a business case.
Mayor Bill Saravinovski said in a mayoral minute that the Bayside Council is concerned about the damage Port Botany will cause to surrounding beaches.
“The impacts from past dredging and reclamation works primarily associated with the development of the port and the airport continue to degrade the foreshore of Botany Bay,” Mayor Bill Saravinovski said in a mayoral minute.
“Bayside residents have been paying the ongoing environmental repair costs ever since.
“There are serious concerns that further dredging would lead to the erosion of the few sandy beaches left around the bay, including our own beach front stretching from Kyeemagh to Sans Souci.”
Like others from Randwick, Cr Saravinovski also said that while the locations picked for the new terminals were not in Bayside Council, the terminal would have a detrimental effect on every Bayside resident.
“The roads around the port and airport are already at capacity, so I ask how is the government planning to deal with the increased transport needs?” he told The Leader.
“Botany Bay might well be the birth place of our nation but sadly its tourist potential has been ignored for decades.
“I firmly believe the quickest way to kill the cruise industry is to just dump it on the end of the port facilities without careful examination of the logistics as well as the impact it will have on the local community.
“The state government must consider the historical and environmental importance of Botany Bay and look at other options.”
Randwick, which in August, unanimously voted against the plan, has also urged the state government to consider other alternatives and will push to list Yarra Bay and Molineaux Point as state heritage sites to stop any development.
Last week, hundreds of local residents filled Yarra Bay Sailing Club to oppose the cruise terminal plans.