By TONY RAGGATT | April 6th, 2013 Townsville Bulletin
LARGE cruise ships will be unable to dock at Townsville’s new $85 million cruise ship terminal because of safety concerns.
A media release from the Townsville Bulletin (6.4.2013) highlights several similar problems with their terminal that Gecko has raised about the issue of a cruise terminal in the Broadwater. Like Townsville the the Seaway and Broadwater channels are narrow and subject to variable winds, swell and tide flows making it a potential safety issue for the larger ships that the State Government and Council anticipate coming here.
Townsville Bulletin also notes that it may not be economical to “widen or deepen”the channel which mirrors the Broadwater concerns where figures of an initial dredging cost of $92 million followed by an annual cost of $6 million for dredging have already been revealed. No developer in their right mind will sign a contract to pay $6 million every year forever unless they think they can offload it onto ratepayers a few years down the track.
Gecko has been saying for years that cruise liner passengers do not spend up big in ports and the figures put out by the cruise industry themselves confirm this. Townsville Enterprise chief executive David Kippin said “they (cruise passengers) they don’t spend a lot of money,” As a result of these problems only 6 cruise ships are booked for a brand new terminal facility in Townsville compared to 40 for Cairns.