Trinity Bay jetty plan floated as major attraction
BUSINESSMAN Tony Basha is calling on the State Government to build one of the world's longest jetties in Trinity Bay to service mega cruise liners and their thousands of passengers instead of dredging the shipping channel.
The Barnacle Bill's restaurateur wants the Government to look at the big picture and consider a jetty from the city's marina to the start of the Trinity Inlet shipping channel, about 10.3km, instead of expensive and ongoing dredging.
The biggest cruise liners need a depth of about 10m which is below the fairway beacon at the entrance to the channel.
He said the cost, estimated by a construction expert to be at least $500m, needed to be considered in the context of the long term future of the region, just as the huge initial cost of Australia's longest jetty of 6km at Lucinda (100km north of Townsville, built in the 1950s and upgraded in 1978) was to the sugar industry and the Sydney Harbour Bridge was to Sydney as a transportation link and a tourist attraction.
"Both of these cost enormous amounts of money but they have played a major role for many decades in the prosperity of the two areas," Mr Basha said.
"My idea is to build a jetty out to an area which can accommodate the largest of vessels and makes it safer and quicker to transport passengers to the cruise liner terminal and the heart of the city," Mr Basha said.
"Other smaller cruise ships can still dock at the terminal but this would allow the super liners, such as Queen Mary 2, and other large ships to moor at a jetty."
He said it would prevent the big liners anchoring off Yorkeys Knob to tender passengers to shore.
"There could be a light rail system or some sort of electric or battery powered people moving system which could run along the length of the jetty to take people into town," he said.
Ports North chairman Brett Moller said no costings had been done but it would be "significant."
He said there would be community concerns over the idea and it would have to undergo a rigorous environmental impact study.
He said Ports North and the State Government were well under way on a study considering dredging with an initial $40 million committed to the project.
International Cruise Council Australasia general manager Brett Jardine said the council had not seen details of the plan but welcome ddiscussion benefiting the industry.
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Big idea: Tony Basha is calling on the State Government to build one of the world's longest jetties in Trinity Bay.