The Port of Newcastle says it is disappointed funding previously slated for its new cruise ship terminal will no longer be available from Infrastructure Australia.

Port of Newcastle said it has been working on “the basis of providing a facility that meets the cruise industry’s needs while remaining within the funding provided”.

“While disappointed construction of the terminal facility cannot proceed at this time, we respect that funding is no longer available,” Port of Newcastle said in a statement.

“Our consultations with the cruise industry have been beneficial in better understanding its needs and ensuring that the design of any future infrastructure will be well-informed by industry.”

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Original plans for the terminal included home porting infrastructure but this was removed after Port of Newcastle revealed last year it could not build the terminal for $12.7m due to rises in construction and engineering costs, and the government confirmed there would be no additional funding.

“We’re pleased that $800,000 of upgrades to mooring bollards, jointly funded by the NSW Government and the Australian Government, have enabled larger ships of up to 3,900 passengers to berth in Newcastle,” the port statement read.

Newcastle hosted 16 cruise ships during the 2018-19 summer, its busiest season on record, and it expects 17 next season, representing a jump in visitors from 27,000 to 37,000.

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