A McGowan Government commitment to upgrade Broome Port, improving cruise ship access and boosting local tourism, will be ready for the 2019 cruise season in October.
Work to dredge the port channel will allow round-the-clock access for cruise ships, which currently need to dock at irregular hours due to the port’s navigational hazards.
“Providing unrestricted cruise ship access to Broome, along with the creation of cheaper airfares from Perth to Broome, is creating real opportunities for more people to visit the Kimberley,” said Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.
The State Government has committed an extra $8 million to the Channel Optimization Project in Broome following recent geotechnical assessments that showed a higher density and volume of rock would need to be dredged.
Attracting more cruise ships to Western Australia is a key component of the McGowan Labor Government’s tourism strategy.
The McGowan Government’s commitment to fix Broome Port prompted Carnival Australia to re-commit to home berthing its P&O ships in WA in October last year, saving the regional port town being removed from cruise itineraries.
The dredging is scheduled to take place in mid-2019 as an outcome of negotiations with the dredge contractor and to coincide with the mobilization of dredging equipment for a project in Port Hedland.
Meanwhile, the Kimberley Ports Authority has received the outcome of an independent report into the viability of below deck cruise passenger access at the Port of Broome wharf.
The report rules out a below deck gangway as an option for the Broome wharf due to risk to passenger safety by being placed in the crush zone and the slope of the gangway being non-compliant with Australian Standards.