Permits a hurdle for cruise ship tourism

THE mission to get cruise ships into the Great Sandy Marine Park may not be a straight-forward one, with permits required and question marks over how tourists would get to the Hervey Bay marina.

Marine park legislation requires a permit for cruise ships to enter the Sandy Strait, while the depth of the water near the marina is causing concern.

Last week, the Chronicle was able to confirm P&O Cruises had the Fraser Coast on its destination radar.

Tourism portfolio councillor Stuart Taylor said permits would likely be a minor issue compared to some of the challenges faced.

He said ideas on getting tourists into the marina had been canvassed.

"One of those was to use the whale watching fleet as a tender," he said.

"If we have legitimate interest from any cruise company I'm sure the State, Federal and Local Governments can work together to make it happen."

A National Parks Recreation Sport and Racing spokeswoman confirmed a permit would be required.

Cr Taylor said he had recalled some larger boats travelling as far south as Kingfisher Bay Resort.

The Chronicle put several questions to Member for Hervey Bay Ted Sorensen about getting ships into Hervey Bay but he did not respond.