As the State Government continues to delay the release of a plan to solve Sydney Harbour’s cruise ship capacity problems, a major business lobby has sided with those pressing for the use of Botany Bay as a new cruise terminal.
Chief Executive Patricia Forsyth of the Sydney Business Council criticised Heffron and Maroubra Labor MPs Ron Hoenig and Michael Daley for their ‘shortsighted’ objection to the plan, according to the Southern Courier.
The row erupted after the federal government revealed last week in the budget that it would be dedicating funds to looking into the feasibility of developing Port Botany into a world-class cruise terminal.
Mr Hoenig said that the Liberal plan to build a cruise terminal would be ‘dreadful’ and could be avoided by leasing space at Garden Island from the Navy while Mr Daley said that a cruise terminal at Port Botany would be disastrous.
“Thousands of passengers embarking each and every day from massive ships is the last thing we need,” he told the Southern Courier. “I can’t even begin to imagine the congestion and noise nightmare.”
But Mrs Forsyth said that the pair were failing to see the broader picture to grow Sydney’s cruise industry.
“Cruising is one of the success stories of tourism growth, contributing $2.7 billion into the Australian economy,” she told the Southern Courier.
“Not backing a review into Botany Bay as an option for the large cruise ships is letting down the community and the opportunity to grow the NSW economy.
“I cannot believe that the objections from the local MPs were discussed with the Shadow Tourism Minister as it will blow apart their commitment to Sydney and the visitor economy.
“Botany Bay may not be the best option for Sydney in an ideal world but as it stands at the moment it is potentially the only option.”
The government will be releasing its long-term cruise strategy plan at the end of the year which will recommend a new terminal.
The Navy has already indicated it won’t make room for cruise ships at its base in Garden Island.
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