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Garden Island a “lost opportunity”

Monday 11th November 2019, 9:34am

Former NSW Liberal Party leader Peter Collins believes the cruise industry and the Australian Navy should share Garden Island to enable a third cruise ship terminal to open in Sydney, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph.

Collins, a former Navy Commander, led an inquiry in 2017 that recommended the cohabitation of Garden Island between the military and the private cruise sector, only for the report to be “dismissed out of hand” by the then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Collins contends.

“The whole report has never been made public,” Collins said. “My report went to the NSW Cabinet and they released a distilled version after they received a negative response from the Federal Govt,” he added. Collins said that currently the Navy only uses the eastern side of Garden Island, claiming there is “no reason why” the Federal Government couldn’t relocate ships to the western side of the island as they did until the 1980s.

“I love the Navy and we don’t want to lose them…but there is room for both,” Collins believes. The Government’s preference for a third terminal in Botany instead of Garden Island also raises economic questions, with the construction of a new terminal either at Molineaux Point or Yarra Bay forecast to cost taxpayers $500 million. But Collins’ latest comments appear likely to fall on deaf ears with the NSW Government at least, with the state’s Transport Minister Andrew Constance all but scuttling suggestions of a sharing plan with the Navy. “There’s been a debate about Garden Island for years and we’ve gotten nowhere,” he said.  “We can keep debating Garden Island until the cows come home but we need to look at alternatives and that’s what we are doing,” Constance added.

Source: Cruise Weekly

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