$7million boost for cruise tourism and Antarctic research in Hobart Tasmania

There is a news report today that there will be a $7 million boost for cruise ship tourism and Antarctic research in Hobart:

This is great news for Tasmania generally:

HOBART cruise ship visits and Antarctic research were given a boost yesterday with the announcement of the redevelopment of Macquarie Wharf No. 2 shed.

The revamped $7 million wharf project will provide a dedicated cruise terminal for passenger arrivals with new traffic arrangements for tour buses and taxis, as well as a dedicated logistical base for Antarctic and Southern Ocean operations.

Both the cruise ship sector and Antarctic research are considered critical markets to the Tasmanian economy. About 75,000 cruise visitors are expected this season and the highest number of Antarctic scientists per head of population in Australia are based in Hobart, TasPorts chairman Dan Norton said.

“This is a remarkable development for Tasmania, which is fitting as we welcome substantial growth in cruise ship visits for the coming season and prepare to celebrate Antarctic exploration with the upcoming centenary event,” he said.

Dr Norton said it was a welcome and timely boost for Tasmania’s Antarctic research sector and cemented Hobart’s place as the Antarctic gateway, defying speculation of losing the title to Fremantle or another Australian port city.

Infrastructure Minister David O’Byrne said the development was an important investment for Tasmania’s economy.

“The Antarctic sector alone is worth at least $182 million to Tasmania annually and the upgrade of Macquarie No. 2 shed during the Antarctic centennial year will enhance Tasmania’s reputation as the centre of Australia’s Antarctic, sub-Antarctic and Southern Ocean science and research activities,” he said.

“The development will be split into two areas. The cruise ships at one end, the Antarctic division at the other and a very flexible space in the middle.”

TasPorts chief executive Paul Weedon said the shape of the building would remain but it would be converted into a more modern facility.

“It’s how we treat the building, open it up, improve the lights. Improve community access to the building, improve the flow of people through the facility,” he said.

“The initial concept designs take into consideration the historical and cultural value of the shed’s facade, seeking to revitalise it structurally and refit internally to provide flexible floor space for activities and operations undertaken by our cruise and Antarctic customers.”

The plans will be finalised over the next two months and approvals then sought.

Building will not begin until the end of this cruise season with 32 scheduled visits between October and May.

The development is expected to take up to two years.

TasPorts is now calling for expressions of interest for the redevelopment of Macquarie Wharf No. 1 after a proposal by MONA founder David Walsh was withdrawn.

TasPorts said the release of the landmark waterfront site would be subject to some conditions to make the area more tourist and people-friendly.




Photo credit: Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2001-2002 | Tourism Tasmania | Nick Osborne