Cruise ship access in Sydney Harbour: Stop trying to dump local problems on the national taxpayer

Major defence force facilities are essential national infrastructure. State and local governments have no right to try and steal them from taxpayers nationally to cover shortfalls or worse in their own planning and investment.

Friday, 04 May 2012
Letter to The Daily Telegraph (Sydney)
(not published)

Bleating by Lord Mayor Clover Moore, the tourist lobby and others about access to Garden Island by visiting cruise ships ignores the geographic, oceanographic, economic, strategic and maritime trade constraints of the Australian east coast.

Naval facilities at Garden Island are long-established and specialist national infrastructure operated on behalf of all Australians, not just Sydneysiders.

They are not somehow a cheap fix for decades of poor planning and insufficient investment by private industry, state governments and the city council.

With some 317km of shoreline there is plenty of space elsewhere in Port Jackson for the state government, the city council and the tourism industry to invest in appropriate facilities

Even within Sydney Harbour itself, more investment by the state government on deep-water wharfage for cruise-ships, and less emphasis on reaping stamp duty from harbourside townhouse development and casinos, is what is needed.

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