Yarra Street Pier Reconstruction
The cruise ship sector is the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry at approximately 18% growth over the past five years. Many of Australia’s ports are struggling to cope with ship demand.
The cruise ship industry has identified the need for additional infrastructure to meet the demand for a growing number of cruise ship visits to Victoria. Cruise ship visits to the Station Pier International Passenger Terminal in Melbourne have steadily increased in recent times, with the number of cruise ships to Melbourne increasing by 60% during the 2009/10 cruise ship season. Station Pier is likely to remain the main port for cruise ship visits to Victoria with 38 visits in the 2010-11 season but there is clearly capacity for a second port to meet the expected growth in demand. Forecasts indicate that the cruise ship industry will be carrying one million passengers and contributing more than $3 billion to the national economy by 2020.
Geelong has previously received vessels at the privately leased Cunningham Pier; however, ongoing cruise ship operational requirements such as the immigration and quarantine facilities necessary to operate a cruise ship berth could negatively impact the commercial operations of the pier significantly, and are therefore not ideal.
The City of Greater Geelong (COGG) together with Tourism Victoria have investigated the market for Geelong as a cruise ship destination, and is satisfied that with appropriate infrastructure in place Geelong could attract a significant volume of cruise ships. A new berthing facility on an alignment of the former Yarra Street Pier has been identified as the preferred project location.
A purpose built cruise liner facility accommodating visiting cruise ships, naval vessels and tall ships. The Pier would include Australian Customs Service and Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service facilities.
The proposed cruise ship development includes commercial activity and facilities including a visitor information service, coffee shop and lounge facilities, souvenir / gift shop and taxi services.
The development also includes floating infrastructure that will extend berthing capacity. This will allow for expansion of the Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC), increasing its capacity and increasing the Club’s opportunities to secure major sailing events over the yacht racing season and grow the marina capacity over the entire year. This aligns with the RGYC’s strategic plan and the waterfront masterplan.
Felix Hemingway, Manager Strategic Projects and Urban Design, City of Greater Geelong
Benefits for Victoria and the G21 region
- Provide a world-class facility that enables Geelong to accommodate major cruise ship visitation during the cruising season.
- Provide significant economic opportunities throughout the G21 region. Current evidence indicates that each visiting cruise ship would pump in excess of $1 million into the G21 region economy.
- Provide job creation, both in the initial planning and construction, as well in related ongoing employment for cruise ship operations.
- Provide increased capacity for the RGYC to secure major sailing events, further strengthening the region’s economy.
- Provided additional attraction to Geelong’s Waterfront and stimulate visitation to our region.
What has been committed
- The State Government has committed $30,000 towards a Business Case to investigate the economic development impacts, costings, planning and required infrastructure of the project and determine an implementation strategy. The City of Greater Geelong, Tourism Victoria, and Geelong Otway Tourism has also contributed towards the Business Case.
- The City of Greater Geelong has committed $5 million towards detailed planning, design and construction of the pier facility.
- The Royal Geelong Yacht Club has committed $2.5 million towards detailed planning, design and construction of the pier facility.
What is required
- Campaign development by Geelong Otway Tourism and G21 municipalities to attract significant cruise ship and naval visitation to Geelong.
- State Government commitment of $25.7 million to enable detailed planning, design and construction of the pier facility.