Tasports Chairman Dr Dan Norton said today the completion of the $7 million redevelopment of Macquarie Wharf No 2 would strongly enhance Hobart’s reputation as a tourism port and the gateway for Antarctic and Southern Ocean research.
“It provides Hobart with a dedicated modern terminal to allow us to better service the growing number of cruise ship visits each year,” Dr Norton said.
Dr Norton said the terminal was designed to meet the needs of key customers including the Australian Antarctic Division, the Tasmanian Polar Network and the cruise industry.
“This multi-purpose facility will generate economic benefits for port users, the tourism industry and the greater Tasmanian community.”
Dr Norton said the design kept faith with the historic values of the former Macquarie Wharf No 2 shed exterior, but dramatically improved the access, floor space and dedicated cruise and Antarctic operational areas.
“Having a dedicated cruise ship terminal will greatly improve the experience for passengers, providing them with a much higher level of service and amenity.”
The cruise terminal would enable the growing number of cruise ship passengers to be processed efficiently as well as experiencing superior services upon their arrival at the port.
“On the back of a bumper cruise season for Tasmania, and Hobart in particular, there is every indication that we will continue to see cruise ship visits and passenger numbers rise.
“This season 55 cruise ships visited the State, with 40 of these ships visiting Hobart, bringing with them the largest number of cruise ship passengers ever to the city. Next season there are already 65 cruise ships booked to call to Tasmania, with 39 of these already scheduled to visit Hobart.”
Dr Norton said Antarctic and Southern Ocean research were a very important market sector for Tasports and for the State.
“The Antarctic office and cargo area will provide the Australian Antarctic Division with a functional operational area with improved logistics facilities in the heart of the Port.
“The facility will help develop Hobart as a prime gateway to Antarctica and assist the State to continue to market the port as an international base for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research vessels and logistics operations.”
Tasports selected Tasmanian award winning architects Circa Morris Nunn to design Macquarie Wharf No 2 Shed in November 2010 and appointed local construction firm Fairbrother Pty Ltd as the contractor for the construction works, which commenced in July last year.
Dr Norton said the redevelopment demonstrated Tasports’ commitment to maintaining and developing its infrastructure to meet existing and future customer needs.
The redevelopment saw the installation of new internal walls to create three sections for the establishment of the cruise terminal, cargo handling spaces, offices and new amenities, completion of the entry ramp, installation of a new roof and new road works to manage cruise ship traffic.
Dr Norton said Tasports had also spent more than $4 million in the past three years on remediation of Hobart’s Macquarie Wharves, including full remediation of Macquarie Wharf No 4 back to its original design specifications.