Wednesday, 4 November 2009

The Cruise Ship Shed

The Ocean Terminal rears its head again today with the Bulletin's front-page piece announcing that the talks are on again! Don’t hold your breath though - now that the cyclone-estate canal-estate has been removed from the development equation one wonders how it will ever stack up without 100% tax-payer funding.

That is amazing about all of this is how the "need" for the facility has become unquestioned fact over time.

The facility was proposed by developers as a lure to government to support a tax-payer supported housing development. In the process of course, cost-benefit analyses and return-on-investment arguments were compiled to prove the benefit to the community of supporting the developers' profit plan.

Not once has the comparative benefit of using tax-payers funds on alternative ways of supporting the regional economy been examined.

I suspect that it will eventually be built because it's now the established mythology that it needs to be and would be good for the city.

Given however that it will be an operating lemon (a facility such as this can't survive on 5 or 6 days of trading per year when cruise ships come to port) the really interesting question how it can be used for real productive benefit for the other 360 days of the year.

1 comment:

Chris Chappell said...

Great site - congratulations!

And then there's the competitive realities that are never mentioned in such cost-benefit studies!

With the upgrade of the Cairn's Cruise terminal now underway - in a town geared for tourists 24/7 and with shops within spitting distance of their shed - you'd have to wonder how many ships are really going to come our way - no matter how nice our shed is!!