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Port Kembla part of the answer to deliver on boost to NSW visitor economy

Release Date: 11/02/2015
Australia’s cruise industry is ranked number one in the world and has experienced enormous growth over the past decade.  However, the limited capacity of Sydney Harbour to facilitate this growth puts the future of this industry at risk to other states.  The best way to secure the benefits of the cruise industry to NSW is to negotiate greater cruise ship access to Sydney’s Garden Island.
The Port of Port Kembla, located in the Illawarra region, is in a unique position to offer the answer to state’s cruise industry growth constraints.  It could either provide an alternative port for cruise ships, or provide a relocation site for existing Garden Island naval operations.
 “The proposed relocation of the Royal Australian Navy from Garden Island to Port Kembla would simultaneously provide the valuable NSW cruise industry the space it needs to grow and much-needed jobs and investment in the Illawarra region” said Debra Murphy Illawarra Business Chamber CEO.  
The NSW Business Chamber’s vision to grow the State’s tourism industry, NSW Visitor Economy on the move, outlines a number of key recommendations for the next NSW Government, including:
  1. Reform local government to simplify and strengthen partnerships with industry.
  2. Create a better environment for investment by creating a new land use planning system to stimulate tourism growth.
  3. Proceeding with the long term leasing of the State’s electricity assets to focus investment on productive infrastructure that supports tourism.
  4. Develop and release a Cruise development Plan to leverage NSW’s global position as a leading cruise destination.
“We need NSW looking to not just maintain its position as the number one tourism destination in Australia, but to capture new investment and opportunities in regional NSW including the Illawarra,” said Ms Murphy.
“A state-wide umbrella framework of Destination Management Plans is absolutely critical if we are to unlock tourism potential in regional NSW and the Illawarra to overcome 20 years of stagnation in overnight regional visitation.
“For far too long, land use planning has acted as a handbrake on new tourism investment. We need a new planning system that prioritises tourism growth as a key objective and includes formal consultation with tourism bodies at the plan making stage as well as more flexible zoning for tourism operations. 
“The Illawarra’s superb environment and closeness to Sydney is not being fully utilised in terms of our tourism potential and as a region we need to explore new tourism opportunities including the growing conference and cruise industries. 
“Whichever party forms government should commit to allocating greater funding for both direct and indirect tourism infrastructure to help drive employment and economic which considers not only the state of NSW, but also the benefits the Illawarra region can offer.”
A copy of NSW Visitor Economy on the move can be found here
Media Contact:         Julia Frith 0417 135 858

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