Broome Port dredging to begin mid-2019

A McGowan Government commitment to upgrade Broome Port, improving cruise ship access and boosting local tourism, will be ready for the 2019 cruise season in October. 

  • Broome Port channel optimisation project to create 24-hour cruise ship access
  • $8 million funding boost for more rock removal from the navigational channel and ease ship access to Broome Port
  • Delivering election commitment to boost cruise tourism and create jobs in WA

Work to dredge the port channel will allow round-the-clock access for cruise ships, which currently need to dock at irregular hours due to the port’s navigational hazards.

The State Government has committed an extra $8 million to the Channel Optimisation Project in Broome following recent geotechnical assessments that showed a higher density and volume of rock would need to be dredged.

Attracting more cruise ships to Western Australia is a key component of the McGowan Labor Government’s tourism strategy.

As part of plans for Broome, the McGowan Labor Government will work with the cruise ship industry to develop more landside destination options for passengers visiting Broome, to generate additional visitor spend and more jobs for locals.

The McGowan Government’s commitment to fix Broome Port prompted Carnival Australia to re-commit to home berthing its P&O ships in WA in October last year, saving the regional port town being removed from cruise itineraries.

The dredging is scheduled to take place in mid-2019 as an outcome of negotiations with the dredge contractor and to coincide with the mobilisation of dredging equipment for a project in Port Hedland.

Meanwhile, the Kimberley Ports Authority has received the outcome of an independent report into the viability of below deck cruise passenger access at the Port of Broome wharf.

The report rules out a below deck gangway as an option for the Broome wharf due to risk to passenger safety by being placed in the crush zone and the slope of the gangway being non-compliant with Australian Standards.

The State Government and Kimberley Ports Authority are committed to improving the cruise passenger experience and will proceed with an above deck gangway design that will better accommodate and speed up disembarkation for the majority of cruise vessel passengers.

WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said, “The original funding commitment has been increased to ensure the best possible outcome for shipping accessibility arising from the dredging project in Broome.

“Providing unrestricted cruise ship access to Broome, along with the creation of cheaper airfares from Perth to Broome, is creating real opportunities for more people to visit the Kimberley.

“Cruise liners are eager to include Broome on their itineraries and the local benefits are obvious – Carnival alone contributes about $32 million in economic benefits by visiting places like Broome, Albany, Busselton and Geraldton.”

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan also says, “Cruise ship tourism provides a real economic boost to regional communities, bringing new visitors to towns and supporting local businesses.

“Broome is the pearl of WA’s north, and our Government is running at every opportunity to drive tourism to the town.

“Alongside projects like the Chinatown revitalisation, our support for unrestricted cruise ship access to Broome Port will open up new opportunities for Broome tourism.”

Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said, “The cruise sector is a vital part of the tourism industry and helps an increasing number of visitors enjoy our extraordinary State.

“When Carnival stopped homeporting in Western Australia because of some port issues, we acted swiftly to rectify the problems at Geraldton and Fremantle ports and, most importantly, dredge the Broome port in time for the 2019 cruise season.

“Princess Cruises responded with the biggest investment a cruise brand has ever made in this State, announcing it would homeport the Sun Princess superliner in Fremantle for a record 141 days in 2019-20.

“The cruise industry employs around 1,400 full-time jobs and injects $276 million to the Western Australian economy annually.”

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