QUEENSLAND Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has turned the first sod on Brisbane’s $158m new International Cruise Terminal.

Expected to be open for business in October next year, proponents say it has potential to more than double the Brisbane cruise industry.

“Building this one piece of infrastructure flows through our entire economy,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Ships that were too long, too high and too deep to dock at Brisbane’s Hamilton facility will have a dedicated cruise terminal.

“That will stimulate the industry at ports up and down the Queensland coast, as we aim to increase passenger numbers throughout the state to more than a million a year.”

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Port of Brisbane chief executive Roy Cummins said the new International Cruise Terminal would be world-class.

“Within its first five years the terminal is expected to handle over 1,100 vessel calls and around 1.8 million passengers,” Mr Cummins said.

“With over 180 bookings confirmed for the 2020/21 cruising season thousands of passengers across the globe are already gearing up to head to Queensland.”

State development minister Cameron Dick said the project was already delivering jobs.

“The Brisbane International Cruise Terminal is supporting, on average, an estimated 245 jobs each year during construction, while an additional 49 jobs will be created each year over the next 20 years,” Mr Dick said.

Tourism minister Kate Jones said the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal would provide a welcome boost to state tourism.

“Last financial year we saw 520 ships port in Queensland — 11% growth year-on-year, making the Sunshine State Australia’s undisputed cruise capital,” Ms Jones said.

“Already the cruise sector supports more than 3,700 jobs state wide and we’re committed to growing this industry.” Australian company Hindmarsh is to construct the terminal building while Brisbane specialist marine contractor Brady Marine and Civil is building the wharf.

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