by Staff Writers
Sydney (AFP) July 15, 2012
A strategic Sydney naval base is to be used to dock large cruise liners, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Sunday, just months after the government advised against it on security grounds.
Sydney is running out of space to accommodate an explosion of cruise ships wanting to dock while some of the new superliners, such as Queen Mary 2, can not fit under the city's Harbour Bridge.
Some 214 cruise ships arrived in Sydney last year, up from 150 the previous year. They currently dock at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Circular Quay or on the other side of the bridge at Barangaroo.
Rather than turn down docking requests, the New South Wales state government earlier this year asked if the Garden Island navy base in Woolloomooloo, near the heart of the city, could be used as well.
The national government announced a review and in March concluded it was "essentially incompatible" with the future needs of the navy, saying Australia's national security should outweigh commercial considerations.
"It's difficult if not impossible to envisage greater access in the short term," Defence Minister Stephen Smith said in March.
But Gillard has had a change of mind.
In an address to the NSW Labor conference in Sydney, she said the visit of Queen Mary 2 in March brought 2,500 visitors.
"With a guarantee of expanded capacity, we could see a visit of that kind every month in summer," she said.
"Better use of Garden Island as a new gateway for international visitors to Sydney Harbour will pump millions of dollars into the local economy and create valuable tourism jobs."
Global Trade News
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|