A new international cruise terminal will be operating in Brisbane within two years after earlier this month, Port of Brisbane and Carnival Australia announced they had reached a commercial agreement.
The Brisbane International Cruise Terminal (BICT) at Luggage Point will be operating by mid-2020 and is expected to generate almost $5 bill in economic value for the Queensland economy alone within 15 years.
The amended commercial agreement between Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd (PBPL) and Carnival Australia, follows the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) conditional approval of the project last month.
Carnival Australia is the only cruise operator to base ships in Australia full-time through its brands of P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line and has been at the forefront of the sector’s growth for more than 10 years, the company claimed.
It also represents other Carnival Group cruise brands, including Cunard, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises UK and Seabourn.
Both PBPL and Carnival Australia have considered the commercial implications of the ACCC’s conditions and have agreed a way forward in the best interests of the cruise industry, Queensland tourism and the state’s economy.
“The decision means Port of Brisbane will now get on with the job of building the terminal, which is a key plank of Queensland’s tourism growth story,” PBPL CEO, Roy Cummins, said.
“The agreement with Carnival Australia gives us commercial certainty to construct the BICT, and we thank them for their ongoing support. This is also good news for the cruise industry as a whole, which will benefit from access to a world-class terminal facility.
“Cementing this partnership today means we can avoid delays and maintain our construction timeline which – weather permitting – targets completion in second quarter 2020,” he said.
President of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia, Sture Myrmell, said the new terminal was a ‘win-win’ for cruising as well as the Queensland economy.
“It means Brisbane can take its place on the world cruising map for some of the globe’s most iconic cruise lines with ships too large to use existing facilities at portside,” Myrmell said. “The terminal will be a major piece of national infrastructure and the single most important investment in cruise tourism in Queensland in 12 years.
“This project creates the opportunity for Queensland and its many regional ports to become the nation’s powerhouse for the cruise industry’s continued growth at a time when industry figures show infrastructure constraints around Australia are slowing momentum,” he added.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the announcement was welcome news for industry across Queensland.
“This is a great example of the private sector and Government working together successfully through our market led proposal framework,” Minister Bailey said.
“The Brisbane International Cruise Terminal will support an average of 245 jobs a year over its two-year construction period, and adds 49 operational jobs on average each year over the next 20 years.
“This project safeguards Brisbane’s role as an important cruise ship port, ensuring we keep the existing 1,250 jobs related to the industry in Brisbane. It will also lead to up to $1.3 bill in net expenditure into the Brisbane economy over the next two decades,” he said.
BICT is expected to generate at least $3.7 bill in economic value over 15 years by opening up Brisbane to more and larger ships from Carnival Australia’s fleet alone. This is in addition to the more than $1 bill that cruising already contributes to the Queensland economy through fees and charges, purchase of fresh produce and passenger spend.
Carnival Australia has entered into a long-term agreement with Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd committing to purchase a maximum of 100 ‘foundation’ berthing days of no more than four in any week for 15 years to underwrite the construction of the new terminal at Luggage Point. In exchange, Carnival Australia receives priority berthing rights at the terminal.
Carnival Australia’s arrangements remain subject to approval by the Foreign Investment Review Board.