Car­ni­val Corp pri­or­ity for Bris­bane ter­mi­nal

Cruise Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

CAR­NI­VAL Cor­po­ra­tion ships will be al­lo­cated al­most a third of the berthing slots at the new Bris­bane cruise ter­mi­nal ( CW 26 Oct) un­der a pro­posed “take or pay” agree­ment with the Port of Bris­bane Pty Ltd (PBPL) which will help un­der­write the project.

De­tails of the deal have been re­vealed in a joint ap­pli­ca­tion by Car­ni­val and the Port of Bris­bane to the Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion (ACCC), seek­ing au­tho­ri­sa­tion for the pact.

“In or­der to support PBPL’s sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment and en­sure that the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment is com­mer­cially vi­able, Car­ni­val will be bound by take or pay obli­ga­tions, pro­vid­ing a guar­an­teed cus­tomer base and rev­enue stream,” the Car­ni­val/ PBPL ap­pli­ca­tion states.

“In re­turn, PBPL will pro­vide to Car­ni­val cer­tain pri­or­ity berthing rights, sub­ject to the com­mon user prin­ci­ples set out in the agree­ments.”

The fil­ing claims that with­out the pacts the Port would not have the “in­cen­tive or abil­ity” to make the nec­es­sary in­vest­ment in the project, while Car­ni­val would not have the in­cen­tive to guar­an­tee a suf­fi­cient base level of busi­ness to make the fa­cil­ity vi­able.

The com­pa­nies had sought ur­gent in­terim au­tho­ri­sa­tion for the deal, how­ever this af­ter­noon the ACCC an­nounced it did not be­lieve an in­terim au­tho­ri­sa­tion was nec­es­sary.

The ACCC says it will in­stead make a de­ter­mi­na­tion on the au­tho­ri­sa­tion in the first half of 2018, with a draft de­ter­mi­na­tion ex­pected in Jan.

The new ter­mi­nal will be able to ac­com­mo­date the grow­ing num­ber of large cruise lin­ers that are currently un­able to dock at Bris­bane’s Portside wharf & have to op­er­ate from the Grain Wharf at Fish­er­man Is­lands where there are no ap­pro­pri­ate pas­sen­ger and tourism fa­cil­i­ties, and only 30 avail­able spots per an­num.

Be­ing able to cater to the large ships will pro­vide a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to the Bris­bane econ­omy, the ap­pli­ca­tion ar­gues.

It says the de­vel­op­ment “will re­sult in sig­nif­i­cant pub­lic ben­e­fits that will far out­weigh any po­ten­tial less­en­ing of com­pe­ti­tion” due to the deal.

Car­ni­val brands will be al­lo­cated 100 “Foun­da­tion Berthing Days” an­nu­ally, along with the abil­ity to pur­chase ad­di­tional Pri­or­ity Berthing Days - but the lim­i­ta­tion that it can­not be al­lo­cated more than four Foun­da­tion and Pri­or­ity Berthing days in a week or 18 berthing days in a month.

The fil­ing said com­mon user prin­ci­ples will “guar­an­tee ac­cess to other cruis­ing com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing dur­ing peak sea­son”.

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