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Message from Minister John McVeigh

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Tourism Investment

Update on Build and Delivery of Cruise Ship Passenger Vessels

As part of the Coalition Government’s commitment to support local businesses and the tourism sector, I am pleased to update you on the almost $5 million investment in passenger transfer vessels for Norfolk Island.

This investment will encourage more cruise ships to visit Norfolk Island and allow more opportunities for cruise ship passengers to tour the Island, spend time in local shops and invest in the local economy.

Carnival Australia, which has regular cruise ships that visit Norfolk Island, has welcomed the investment in passenger vessels. It noted that, together with the recent upgrades to Cascade Pier, the passenger vessels should improve the success rate for cruise ships being able to land passengers on Norfolk Island in the future, increasing tourism numbers.

The vessels are beginning to take shape and remain on track to be delivered to Norfolk Island by mid-2019:

  • In June 2017, Birdon was awarded the contract to design, build, fit out, test and deliver three 12 metre aluminium catamaran vessels specifically designed for the transfer of passengers between cruise ships and Norfolk Island.

  • The vessels are constructed in a staged approach - the hull for the first passenger vessel has now been fabricated, the jets have been installed, and the superstructure (top of the vessel) is scheduled to be joined in the coming weeks.

  • The first of the trailers used to transport the vessels are being manufactured and expected to be completed shortly.

The Government appreciates the participation and input of the Norfolk Island Regional Council in designing the passenger vessels.

The vessels will support Norfolk Island’s reputation as a desirable cruise ship destination, reduce risks operators face when disembarking their passengers, and increase the potential number of tours that local operators can conduct.

This investment is over and above the other investments I recently announced as part of the 2018 Coalition Government Budget, including:

-       $8.3 million over four years to support the Council to deliver community services

-       $776, 000 over two years for tourism marketing to increase visitor numbers

-       $1.8 million over two years for maintenance and improving the visitor experience at the KAVHA heritage site, and

-       Almost $20 million over four years for investments in infrastructure and improving education services.

The passenger vessels present exciting new opportunities. I look forward to continuing to work in partnership with you, the Council and the Administrator to support tourism which represents 60% of the Island’s local economy.

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