Matt Thistlethwaite, Federal Member for Kingsford Smith reports on his letter to the Prime Minister:
Following the NSW State election, it’s now even more important for our local community to speak out strongly against the proposed cruise ship terminal at Yarra Bay.
We need to speak together and let both the Federal and State Governments know that the people of Kingsford Smith don’t want a cruise ship terminal in our community.
It was of course the axed Prime Minister, the former Member for Wentworth, who made a captain’s call to rule out Garden Island as the preferred location for Sydney’s new cruise ship terminal.
The former [State] Liberal leader, Peter Collins, was appointed to head up a Cruise Industry Reference Group and asked to identify some possible solutions to the current crush of cruise ships coming into Sydney Harbour.
The preferred option for an additional cruise ship terminal was Garden Island West, with option two being North-East Garden Island.
Further down the list, the recommendations of the Cruise Industry Reference Group clearly stated that for options three and four, Molineaux Point/Botany Bay and Yarra Bay/Botany Bay, respectively, consultation with Indigenous and local community representatives and in accordance with environmental safeguards should be carried out.
This, of course, hasn’t happened, and our community may have to pay the price.
Once again the Bidjigal people, whose ancestors have called Yarra Bay their home for thousands of years, have not been consulted on this disastrous plan.
They say a cruise ship terminal in their backyard will destroy local traditional fishing areas and livelihoods.
And the numbers just don’t add up.
An independent review shows that accommodating cruise ships at Garden Island would cost $143 million.
And yet taxpayers are being asked to spend over half a billion dollars on an ill-conceived cruise ship terminal at Yarra Bay.
Adding insult to injury, the cruise ship industry says it won’t contribute financially.
That’s why I’ve written to our Prime Minister, who is also the Member for Cook, on behalf of a community ready to fight to the end against a cruise ship terminal at Yarra Bay.
Mindful that the electorate of Cook is within sight of the proposed cruise ship terminal, I’ve asked our Prime Minister, ‘Where are you on this?’
I’ve also suggested that it’s time to make Garden Island the next site for Sydney’s cruise ship terminal.
It’s high time for Governments, both Federal and State, to listen to the people, and for all of us to have our say loudly and clearly, ‘Save Yarra Bay’!
Federal Member for Kingsford Smith