'Mega cruise ship' terminal for Brisbane

The Queen Mary 2 docked at Circular Quay after arriving into Sydney on March,7 2012.
The Queen Mary 2 docked at Circular Quay after arriving into Sydney on March,7 2012.

A controversial neighbourhood plan and a draft development blueprint, which gives the green light for another cruise terminal in Brisbane, has passed at the Brisbane City Council meeting.

In a rare move, Labor and LNP councillors united in their support for the draft Pinkenba/Eagle Farm neighbourhood plan at Tuesday's meeting, voting to approve a document outlining a new shape for a district dubbed Brisbane's “economic heart”.

That heart will beat through six different development precincts contained within the industry-focused plan, with “mega cruise ships” supported by provisions for a new terminal at the Myrtletown Precinct.

Brisbane's existing cruise ship terminal at Portside Wharf is capable of welcoming ships up to 270 metres in length, including the P&O Aurora and the Oriana, but unable to handle mega ships the size of the 345 metre-long RMS Queen Mary 2.

Neighbourhood Planning Chairman councillor Amanda Cooper said the plan also included space for the conversion of some industrial areas into shops, cafes or other retails services.

“I think this is a great outcome,” Cr Cooper said, and councillors from both sides of the chamber rose to speak in support of the plan.

But there was sharp division over the Mitchelton centre neighbourhood plan, which has aggravated members of the local community since it was proposed in 2010 and was the subject of an official complaint to the Queensland Ombudsman.

The controversy centres on provisions in a revised plan passed by council late last year which allowed for buildings taller than had been agreed to in an initial round of community consultation, according to some residents.

But Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney approved the revised plan in December, despite the complaint from the Mitchelton Action Group.

Opposition Leader councillor Milton Dick said the ALP moved to vote against plan because “the community has been taken for a ride”.

But local councillor Andrew Wines spoke in support of the plan because it was in line with the area's identification in the South East Queensland Regional Plan as “a major growth node”.

After a vote which split the floor along party lines in the LNP-dominated council, the plan is now set to be adopted to the city's planning scheme.

This story 'Mega cruise ship' terminal for Brisbane first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.