Coastal communities prepare to resist cruise industry

The Guardian Australia continues its informed coverage of cruise industry issues with a 22 November article by Royce Kurmelovs outlining NSW coastal communities’ concerns about cruise industry plans:
Return of cruise ships may bring storm of protest to regional australian ports

While international cruising for Australians remains uncertain and impractical, the cruise industry is pushing the Commonwealth and state governments to support a resumption of cruising with destinations restricted to the Australian coastline. This will involve visits to new locations and more frequent visits by larger vessels to locations previously rarely imposed upon.

Concerns of coastal communities include:

  • the oceanic pollution the industry generates (grey water, treated sewage, oily waste and solid waste)
  • the potential for spills both accidental and deliberate
  • airborne emissions from the bunker fuel the ships burn (bunker fuel is a low-quality fuel made from the dregs of the oil-refining process, and is hazardous to human health)
  • the physical impact from anchors ripping up the seafloor
  • the cumulative pressure from the construction of support infrastructure such as piers or bus terminals

Save the Bay Coalition shares many of these concerns for Yarra Bay where the cruise industry proposes a massive and permanent imposition.

The article has attracted 170 comments, many of them well worth reading. For example:

In the tourist spots, the locals will be tossed a few crumbs to support the “job creation” myth and local authorities and politicians get to pretend they are players in the big global game. But at what price? The environment is ruined (I would like to add channel deepening to all the other damaging factors already mentioned) and the local employment collapses like the house of cards it is, as has been demonstrated in the last 18 months. The Cruise line will just go to other places, exploiting their beauty and gullibility, leaving a trail of destruction while pocketing the massive profits.

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