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Cruise Ships in Victor Harbor

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (14:52): My question is to the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment. Can the minister advise what consideration, if any, the South Australian Tourism Commission has given to the suggestion to allow cruise ships to visit and anchor off Victor Harbor?

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment) (14:52): I thank the honourable member for his interest in the tourism sector, particularly the cruise ship sector. The cruising industry has injected some $118 million into the South Australian economy in the 2017-18 season, with 65 visiting cruise ships to Adelaide, Kangaroo Island and Port Lincoln. The 2018-19 cruise ship season commenced on 6 October 2018, with 84 scheduled cruise ships to visit South Australian ports, consisting of 43 ships to Adelaide, including four overnights, four ship visits to Kangaroo Island (Penneshaw), and 13 ship visits to Port Lincoln. This is comprised of 21 different cruise ships scheduled, with a total capacity of 176,195 passengers.

The South Australian Tourism Commission promotes Victor Harbor as a destination for shore excursion tours and also as a cruise line anchorage destination for visiting ships. There were several shore excursion tours offered by cruise lines that berth at Port Adelaide passenger terminal to the Fleurieu Peninsula, including McLaren Vale and Victor Harbor. There are currently no cruise ships scheduled to anchor at Victor Harbor.

The cruise ships that come to visit South Australia range from the expedition vessels (10 to 50 passengers), boutique ships (50 to 600 passengers), cruise ships (from 600 to 2,700 passengers) and, of course, the large mega liners (from 2,700 to 6,300 passengers). In 2010 the Orion expedition vessel visited Victor Harbor as part of a seven-day itinerary from Melbourne. Victor Harbor was a popular option with the Zodiacs (small tender vessels) bringing passengers ashore to the Causeway, which connects Granite Island to the mainland.

The SATC has been, and continues to be, in discussion with several domestic and international cruise lines to attract cruise ships to visit Victor Harbor. The SATC and the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure are working with the City of Victor Harbor to develop a business case and a feasibility study for the future infrastructure required and the most suitable location for cruise ships in Victor Harbor. The SATC has been in consultation with key domestic cruise line partners Carnival Australia and Cruise and Maritime Voyages on the most suitable location for new infrastructure development, and agreed the best location is on the mainland near Policeman Point, not on Granite Island.

The SATC will continue to work with the City of Victor Harbor, DPTI and Fleurieu Peninsula Tourism to ensure that the required infrastructure is ready, and that logistical requirements such as transport and passenger welcome programs are delivered. It is imperative that the new infrastructure design and location meet the needs of the cruise lines to ensure long-term success and future scheduled visits to Victor Harbor.