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Defence Publications

Cruise Ship Access Review

Terms of Reference

A review is to be carried out into the capacity of Garden Island in Sydney to accommodate increased numbers of visiting cruise ships. The review will assess current and future Royal Australian Navy (RAN) requirements and whether there is scope to enhance cruise ship access to Garden Island, noting its primary role of support to the RAN's raise, train and sustain roles and functions and the timely delivery of maritime operational capability.

The review is to examine:

  1. Outcomes from the New South Wales Government-sponsored Passenger Cruise Terminal Steering Committee Part B report on infrastructure requirements and locations for a Cruise Passenger Terminal east of Sydney Harbour Bridge;
  2. Current and future RAN requirements for facilities at Garden Island to meet the operational and maintenance needs of home-ported and visiting RAN and allied naval ships;
  3. Future Defence Materiel Organisation requirements and responsibilities for contracted RAN ship repair and maintenance, including the continuing need for Garden Island to be available for short notice emergency Navy dockings;
  4. The suitability of existing Garden Island facilities to support more regular cruise ship visits during peak periods and with the degree of advanced notice sought by the industry;
  5. The economic benefits of enhanced cruise ship access to Sydney Harbour, and the economic contribution of the ongoing Navy presence in Sydney;
  6. Options for alternative berthing, maintenance and support arrangements for naval vessels both within Sydney and other ports which might be required to allow enhanced cruise ship access to Garden Island during peak periods, with estimates of feasibility, costs and timeframes involved;
  7. The costs, benefits and impact of the cruise industry investing in purpose built facilities at Garden Island to enable enhanced use of the island by cruise ships;
  8. Changes to Defence risk profile which would be caused by enhanced cruise ship access to Garden Island, in terms of:
    1. Acquisition and maintenance of naval ships;
    2. Personnel support;
    3. Security;
    4. Operational readiness; and
    5. Commonwealth financial and legal liability.

The review will be guided by the following:

  1. The Two Ocean Basing policy, which will remain a central tenet of Navy basing and disposition for Navy's larger ships, consistent with strategic guidance.
  2. The strategic basing principles agreed by the Government as part of the 2009 Defence White Paper Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030.
  3. An understanding of the technical complexity of major naval vessels, and how this might determine the need for operational bases having ready access to a broad industry base with specialised dockyard facilities and a large labour force possessing trades and skills peculiar to naval requirements.
  4. The impact of basing Navy ships in major ports such as Sydney on Navy skilled workforce retention.

The review will seek wide input from Commonwealth and State Governments, Sydney and other Port Corporations, defence contractors in the ship repair sector, cruise industry representatives, ports and shipping industry representative bodies, the transport and tourism sectors, and the team appointed by Government to undertake the broader Force Posture Review.

The review is to commence as soon as possible with a final report tabled to the Minister for Defence by the end of December 2011.