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Massive blow for Sydney cruises

Plans for the terminal at Botany Bay are now 'at the bottom of the ocean'. Picture: 9 News, NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard
Plans for the terminal at Botany Bay are now 'at the bottom of the ocean'. Picture: 9 News, NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

Plans to build a cruise ship terminal at Sydney’s historic Botany Bay have been scrapped by the NSW government, after locals campaigned against the development for five years.

Molineaux Point and Yarra Bay, in Sydney’s south, were both flagged as possible locations for the terminal but faced massive backlash from a local campaign against the build.

Fears mounted that the dredging required to build the depot would disturb contaminants settled deep in the seabed as well as harming native wildlife and biodiversity.

Locals have campaigned against the development for the past five years. Picture: 9 News
Locals have campaigned against the development for the past five years. Picture: 9 News
The announcement has been hailed as a 'win for people power'. Picture: 9 News
The announcement has been hailed as a 'win for people power'. Picture: 9 News

Save the Bay Coalition spokesperson Maria Poulos Conklin said the announcement, which came on Saturday, was a “win for the First Nations that had been caring for country for thousands of years”.

“It’s a huge win for people power … and an incredible win for our biodiversity,” she said.

Space has recently been sought to establish new terminals in Sydney as the booming industry looks to expand across the city.

Circular Quay has become strained due to its limited capacity to house cruise ships while larger ships are unable to fit under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

SYDNEY AUSTRALIA - NewsWire Photos, 14 JANUARY, 2023: Early morning swimmers at Ramsgate in Botany Bay take advantage of calm conditions under approaching rain clouds. As most of Southern Australia experiences heat wave conditions, Sydney remains below 30 degrees experiencing it's longest spell below 30 degrees in 140 years. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Simon Bullard.
Molineaux Point and Yarra Bay were both flagged as possible locations for the terminal. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Simon Bullard.
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NewsWire Photos - APRIL 19 2023: A general view of a Captain Cook Cruise ship sailing under Sydney Harbour Bridge. The International Education Association of Australia, a roundtable of peak university, TAFE, private providers and education agents, Commerce and Industry will appear before a foreign affairs and trade hearing on Australia's tourism and international education sectors. Picture NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard
Larger cruise ships are unable to fit under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

While a proposal for ships to share the Navy’s Garden Island was scrapped several years ago, some MPs have called for the Minns government to once again explore it as an option.

The island is an inner-city area located northeast of Sydney’s CBD, jutting out to the north of Potts Point, and is the location of a major Royal Australian Navy base.

Regardless of what future sites are put on the table, state MP Michael Daley said the Botany Bay plans were now safely “at the bottom of the ocean”.