13 Feb 2016
Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
Work has started on a new $1.2 million shaded walkway that will allow cruise ship passengers to stroll from the Cruise Ship Terminal to the Darwin Waterfront Precinct in comfort.
Chief Minister Adam Giles said the shade structure would cover about 350 metres of the walking path along the sea wall from the Cruise Ship Terminal to the pontoon ramp access to the Darwin Waterfront.
"The waterfront is a fabulous gateway to the Territory for 70,000 cruise ship passengers a year and we want to make it as welcoming as possible," he said.
"Waterfront businesses asked us to consider building a shade structure to help cruise ship passengers beat the heat as they leave their ships. We listened and we're delivering."
Mr Giles said the cruise industry provided an important boost for tourism in the Top End, injecting $54 million into the local economy last financial year.
"The cruise industry is extremely important to our overall NT tourism industry as it provides an influx of tourists into the region during the off-peak and shoulder seasons," he said.
"The 46 cruise ship visits this financial year will carry a passenger capacity of more than 70,000, and according to figures released by the Australian Cruise Association, the average daily spend per passenger in Darwin was up to $288.
"Cruise ship passengers and crew undertake tours while in the Top End, visit local attractions and shop at local retail outlets, cafes and restaurants so it's important we make their experience on arrival as comfortable as possible."
Local Darwin contractor SAN Industries has been selected to deliver the project. SAN Industries will employ up to 30 workers over the life of the project, which is expected to be completed mid-2016.
The shade structure has been designed to maximise shade and minimise visual impact from the foreshore, with the finishes selected to complement other existing infrastructure at the Waterfront.
The vision for the project was developed in consultation with stakeholders including local cruise industry representatives, Darwin businesses and Waterfront stakeholders.
The cruise lines have been informed of the works being undertaken to minimise impact to passengers. Passengers can still walk to the city via The Anchorage while the work is going on, and shuttle buses will continue to offer transfers to the CBD.
Mr Giles said the Country Liberals Government was working hard to grow the tourism industry after years of decline, with the total number of visitors to the NT up 14 per cent in the year ending September 2015 compared to the three years prior.
"A thriving tourism industry helps boost local business, create jobs and grow the Territory economy," he said.
"It's all part of the Country Liberals Government's plans to drive the development of North Australia and build a $2.2 billion visitor economy by 2020."
Media Contact: Scott Whitby 0438 531 583