City News

$60 million renewable White Bay power plan ‘life-changing’ for Balmain and Rozelle: Parker

Member for Balmain Jamie Parker (pictured) called the new energy plan 'life-changing' for the Inner West. Photo: Ann-Marie Calilhanna.

By DANIEL LO SURDO

The NSW government has announced that a $60 million renewable ‘shore-to-ship’ power plan will be installed at Glebe Island and White Bay in a move that will save an estimated 14,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

The new net-zero energy infrastructure will eliminate fumes from docked cruise ships and reduce noise pollution from the precinct following years of local campaigning against the $57 million White Bay Cruise Terminal, which opened in 2013.

The first berth at White Bay with shore-to-ship power is due to be turned on in 2024 and will offer a land-based resource that can power ships while at berth, allowing engines and generators to be switched off, and will reduce emissions, air pollution and noise levels while at port.

Greens Member for Balmain Jamie Parker said the decision would be “life-changing for people in Rozelle and Balmain”.

“Today’s announcement has catapulted Sydney from being the laggard of the international cruising industry to being a world-leader exhibiting environmental best practice,” Mr Parker said.

“[It] is the culmination of a ten-year campaign for clean air at White Bay that has included a parliamentary inquiry, thousands of petition signatures, hundreds of letters and dozens of meetings.

“This facility will flick the switch on cruise ship pollution.”

The precinct will be a world-first for bulk shipping operators, with Transport Minister David Elliott saying that White Bay will become the first shore-powered cruise berth in the Southern Hemisphere.

2024 White Bay start date ‘not good enough’, says Inner West mayor

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne called for the immediate introduction of shore-to-ship power, saying that “this ongoing delay is not good enough” and that he would write to the Premier and the Transport Minister to ask for the plan to be fast-tracked.

Port Authority of NSW CEO Captain Philip Holliday said that ships, including those belonging to cruise companies such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises, would be built and retrofitted to take advantage of the new technology.

Mr Holliday added that the number of cruise ships visiting Sydney in the short-term is “already pretty positive”, with the port authority forecasting a return of cruise ships to pre-pandemic levels in two to three years.

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