Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance announced earlier this week that the NSW Government is investigating the option of a new cruise terminal at Coffs Harbour or Yamba.
Mr Constance announced a feasibility study saying that it would be a way to expand the state’s cruise industry, which injected $5 billion into the economy last year.
“There’s no doubt the experience in my electorate of Eden on the far south coast has been incredible for those local communities,” Mr Constance said in Coffs Harbour at a press conference.
“Here on the mid north coast there is a wonderful tourist offering to entice people to enjoy the benefits of cruise ships. We will now look at the infrastructure opportunities and do the necessary assessment in relation to what would be required.”
Newcastle is currently the only port between Sydney and Brisbane and Mr Constance said there was a need for more port infrastructure in the mid north coast for tourists.
“There is no doubt there is a need for cruise ships to come to the mid north coast. We want to capitalise on that growth for regional people and that’s why we’re here today,” he said.
“I think the demand that passengers have to come into ports, be it Coffs, Eden, Yamba, even Newcastle, shows there’s a real opportunity here and we should explore it.”
Like Eden, Mr Constance said if a terminal was built in Coffs, cruise passengers would be tendered to shore. The downside, is that the Minister said the port might be 10 years away but would help reinvigorate tourism into Coffs.
“Coffs Harbour has all the obvious attributes. It has a great harbour, a safe harbour, and an airport with the capacity to take 767 jets,” he said.
“It also has customs and immigration. We can fly visitors in and out of here, so they could cruise in and fly out. You could triangulate cruises between Cairns, Brisbane and Coffs, or Sydney, Coffs and Brisbane.