Australia:In 2012, Councillor Leigh Colacino pulled me aside and told me he loved ships, big white ships, and he wanted to bring them to Wollongong.
I didn’t know Cr Colacino very well at that time, but suffice to say, he is persistent. Next morning, my phone lights up, “what have you done about my idea?”.
And so commenced our daily ritual of the last six years: phone calls, emails, meetings until that first big ship Radiance of the Seas made her maiden voyage to Wollongong on October 30, 2016. But this is just the start.
Since that time we have learnt a lot about the cruise industry. Australia has played a significant part in the industries growth with cruise ship patronage increasing by over ten percent every year for the past ten years in Australia.
There is no sign of that growth abating but it’s been well documented that Sydney Harbour no longer has any capacity to continue that growth and a new solution needs to be found or this opportunity will be lost interstate and overseas.
On July 31 this year, the NSW Government released the long awaited Cruise Development plan which included infrastructure solutions to continue cruise industry growth in the Sydney market.