The arrival tomorrow of the Royal Carribbean’s Voyager of the Sea to Wollongong signals that it is time the State Government finalised and released its 10 Year Cruise Development Plan, which it promised two years ago.
The Cruise Development Plan (CDP) was first announced in June 2014, yet two years later, there is still no sign of the plan.
The successful visit of three cruise ships to Wollongong since November 2016 shows that the region has been able to play a significant role in the NSW cruise ship industry.
When originally announced by the State Government, the CDP did include the ports of Newcastle and Eden, but there was no mention of Port Kembla.
The Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres, indicated after Paul Scully – then a candidate in the Wollongong by election – called for Port Kembla to be included in the CDP that it would be completed “by early next year.”
Comments attributable to Paul Scully MP:
“We’ve got the next cruise ship visit to Wollongong happening tomorrow and yet there is still no sign of the Baird Government releasing its long-promised 10 year Cruise Development Plan.
“The plan was first announced in June 2014, and at that stage it did not include mention of the Port of Port Kembla.
“Tomorrow, with the arrival of Voyager of the Sea, we will have seen three cruise ship visits to the region.
“The ships are having an impact on the local economy and jobs with businesses reporting record trade when the cruise ships dock.
“It really is time that the State Government stopped being all at sea with its cruise ship development control plan and released it to provide some certainty to this growing tourism industry in the Illawarra.
“The Minister said the CDP would be released in the new year when I last raised this issue.
“It is now early in the new year and after more than two years of waiting, the cruise ship industry and tourism operators deserve better than the Government’s current lack of action.”