Formal planning will now begin on a brand new $100 million cruise terminal at Luggage Point in Brisbane after Stage 1 approval was today received from the Queensland Government.

The facility will be positioned at the mouth of the Brisbane River and east of the Gateway Bridge, which has been a bugbear of many cruise lines to this point as its fairly low height has provided a similar problem to the Sydney Harbour Bridge by preventing access to the city’s Portside Wharf to many of the modern ships over 270m in length operating today.

Brisbane’s new terminal is a market-led proposal being driven by a consortium made up of the Port of Brisbane, Carnival Australia and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Once operational, it will open up the city for easier access by larger ships associated with the duo’s brands including Celebrity Cruises, Cunard and Princess Cruises. From here, the Port of Brisbane will put together a detailed design and conduct technical & environmental impact investigations, before submitting a final proposal back to its Board and the Queensland Government.

Port of Brisbane Chief Executive Officer Roy Cummins said the terminal would be a vital piece of the city’s tourism infrastructure which would deliver major economic benefits to the state and South-East Queensland as a whole.

“We are pleased the Queensland Government recognises the need for a mega ship cruise facility in Brisbane and Port of Brisbane’s commitment to delivering the best possible outcomes for the State in the shortest possible timeframes.”

Cummins added Port of Brisbane, along with Carnival Australia and Royal Caribbean Cruises would fully fund and construct the terminal at no cost to the Queensland taxpayers. Once open, it would offer a dedicated passenger facility independent of the FI Grain container terminal, deep water frontage to allow ships of all size to dock, irrespective of draft depth and close proximity to Brisbane Airport for extra convenience to travellers flying in or out at either end of their cruise holiday.

“Cruise ships are getting longer and currently there is no dedicated facility in Brisbane to accommodate ‘mega ships’ (vessels longer than 270 metres),” Cummins added. “By 2020, mega ships will represent approximately 60% of Brisbane’s vessel calls and without a new facility Brisbane, and Queensland, may miss out on future visits.”

Over the next two decades, Brisbane’s cruise industry is forecast to grow to one which supports 3,750 jobs, bringing nearly 770,000 international and domestic visitors to the city which will collectively inject more than $1 billion in gross revenue to the state’s economy.

“The cruise industry wants to expand in Brisbane, and has the future demand to support it. Cruise has been one of the standout performers of Australia’s tourism industry over recent years, and this is Brisbane’s – and Queensland’s – opportunity to grow its share of the cruise market,” Cummins concluded.