#WeAreCruise I want to take a cruise like 44,000 other Australians.Tweet
10 June 2021 – Ministers extend restrictions on cruise operations following further ‘specialist medical and epidemiological advice’ provided by the AHPPC and the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer.
We report the data and modelling used by the AHPPC to calculate the risk is not subject to public domain. The CLIA have appointed Dr. Ian Norton to review the governments advice.
Owing to the extension of restrictions on cruise operators, it means large cruiseliners will not visit Australia until October 2022 at the earliest, causing a loss of $6bn to the Australian economy and threatening the jobs of 18,000 workers including those in aborigonal communities in the Kimberly region.
Cunard and P&O Cruises (Australia’s largest cruise operator) have announced a permanent fleet withdrawal from Australia for the foreseeable future. The decision to avoid Australia confirms industrial communications ResumeCruising.org has seen are genuine. Large liners may collectively boycott the Australian market until Ministers engage in discussions at the appropriate level.
Cunard and P&O confirmed to the press they would not seek to engage in discussions with Australian authorities whilst they reorganised their itineraries in alternate markets in Asia, including Japan and Singapore, who are presently considering a resumption of business.
Prior to the extension, the Tourism Minister Dan Tehan MP caused confusion at a News International conference announcing that resuming cruises “will airlines and it will help the wonderful holiday destinations that we have around Australia where the cruise ships stop. So to me, it’s something that we should be looking at.”
3rd June, 2021 – Dan Tehan, Minister for Tourism, issues a hollow update to the Australian cruise industry that fails to detail a framework that would allow domestic and international cruises to resume in Australian waters.
NEWS: Dan Tehan MP says resuming international and domestic cruises will help airliners and tourism sector | Royal Caribbean: We expect all cruise guests to be vaccinated | The Australian reports minister stating cruising in Australia high on tourism agenda | Ponant Chair of Asia Pacific says resume cruises now on 2GB to Ben Fordham
ResumeCruising.org continues to engage with YouTubers, media outlets and the blogger community, along with our industry partners and workers, to raise the profile of the Australian Governments approach to our sector in comparison with our international colleagues in the US, UK, Europe, UAE, Singapore and the Caribbean.
ResumeCruising.org expects the AHPPC to have reviewed increasing academic and empirical proof that would relax the domestic and international cruise ban in Australia (part of the Bio Security Act 2015) on or before 17 June 2021. Whether the Government publish the framework for the resumption of Domestic and International cruises remains to be seen.
- Domestic cruises in local waters have been proposed by the CLIA for several months, to no response from Federal Government (no federal framework exists)
- International cruises, carrying guests who have been vaccinated by AHPPC approved vaccines (AstraZeneca/Oxford, Pfizer/BioNTech) could arrive from the UK, US and Europe, providing significant income to the struggling tourism industry in Australia.
On or before 17 June 2021 ResumeCruising,org will continue to advocate the resumption of carefully managed cruises into Australian waters.
12th May, 2021 – in response to the 2021/22 budget
Australia’s cruise industry is flatlining. It could have contributed $5bn to the ATO since March 2020. There was zero support in the 2021/22 budget for the 18,000 cruise workers who are out of work. They rely on the government giving the go-ahead for a domestic cruise return in Australian waters, just as the UK, US, UAE, Singapore and Israel announce domestic cruise starts. Australia has the largest share (49%) of the domestic and international cruise market, the tourism industry supports 390,000 workers overall. If we don’t resume, domestic and international tourists will simply head elsewhere. We are expecting large redundancies to be announced by cruise lines operating in Australia unless governments act, NOW.
There’s still no response to our letters asking for test cruises of over 100 passengers in Australian waters. We suggested this to the Prime Minister, Dan Tehan MP, Greg Hunt MP and the AHPPC. They refuse to respond – even the official body (CLIA Australia) for the industry can’t get a response out of ministers, nor agree the plan for the domestic cruise restart.
The wider #WeAreCruise movement has been calling for a pathway for resuming domestic cruises in Australia for over a year. No luck so far – dont worry, it’s just your job on the line.
What have we asked the ministers you ask?
We (rather sensibly) suggested that the AHPPC collect new data from domestic test cruises. The UK, US, Israel and Singapore have all announced this initiative. Of the 400,000 passengers who have cruised from Singapore since October 2020, there have been no positive tests, no infections, no fatalities as a reulst of the present COVID-19 pandemic onboard cruise ships. This is largely due to the implementation of new safety protocols making cruise ships (arguably) a safer method of transport than airtravel by comparing available data on transmission.
The budget did nothing to safegaurd the jobs we need to protect.
5th May, 2021:
NEWS: The fight with the AHPPC is on | Worldwide cruise workers given hope, but not in Australia | P&O pauses Australian cruises for over 1.5 years | WHO Expert sees no concern with gradual increase in passenger caps to 1,000
Sadly, P&O cruises have paused further cruise operations around Australian waters until 17 September, 2021. For 18,000 of us working in the cruise industry, it means Australians are fast approaching a very dangerous 2 year mark of ‘no cruises’.
Analysts report the largest cruise operator in the world (and Australia), Carnival, has a debt crisis that has doubled since March 2020. We learn from higher-ups that redundancies are being considered.
In contrast to the Australian Federal Governments efforts, the UK, EU, UAE, Israel and Singapore have all announced a restart to domestic cruising and international cruise futures.
Since the unfortunate outbreak onboard the Ruby Princess, seafarers have brought minimal cases to Australia. Over 99% of COVID-19 cases have entered Australia via air travel and then community transmission. The cases from sea are so low due to increasing protocols established by international shipping and maritime authorities. Shipping is largely safe due to awareness of the virus, being now (arguably) the safest method of travel in the world. Ports and maritime areas are safe. The International Labour Organisation, Maritime Union of Australia and CLIA have been working tirelessly to introduce strict protocols which has had a knock-on benefit to the proposals put forward by the SafeCruise initiative which now needs to be trialled on Australian cruises.
Whilst the CLIA continue to engage with Australian authorities and with the rest of the world opening up, if a return to cruising is not announced in June, redundancies in the Australian cruise industry are highly likely. Watch this space.
Resume Cruising is asking the AHPPC to collect new data from the international Safe Cruises initiative by Q2 2021 to safeguard jobs and reinject $5.2bn into the Australian economy.
The SafeCruise initiative has seen over 400,000 passengers transit international waters without a COVID-19 outbreak and is allowing the cruise industry to resume safely.
Our message to the Minister for Health and the Minister for Tourism is simple:
“Workers who rely on cruise resuming no longer have support from JobSeeker and their jobs and careers are at risk. International air travel is increasing to Australia and has seen more than 253,000 citizens and 73,000 internationals arrive in Australia since March 2020, with the highest influx of COVID-19 cases from Sydney airport. With international routes opening, why is the Cruise Industry unfairly restrained from trade? We believe the AHPPCs decision to extend the cruise ban to June 2021 is based on unsupported and outdated data collected from the beginning of the pandemic. Evidence from the SafeCruise initiative proves this.”
Notes for the media on the CLIA’s SafeCruise initiative:
- There have been no fatalities onboard cruises since March 2020, and minimal, confined cases of COVID-19 onboard upgraded CLIA member ships operating new, revised protocols (SafeCruise) such as those operating from the UK, Singapore and Israel, proving cruises can resume.
- Over 400,000 passengers on 400 cruises have transited international waters on SafeCruise ships.
- On April 10th 2021, the UK announced international cruise reopening after the summer domestic only cruises. The UK Travel Task Force reported: “The UK government will restart international cruises alongside the wider restart of international travel, in line with the traffic light system. This will be subject to continued satisfactory evidence from domestic restart as well as successful cruise operations elsewhere in the world. This is also subject to the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the UK government and industry covering the cost and liabilities of repatriation.” Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “For the first time I think there is light at the end of the tunnel and we’ll be able to restart international travel, including cruises, in a safe and secure way.” (BBC R4)
Notes for the media about the cost of the AHPPCs recent decision to stop cruises with over 100 passengers in Australia by Q2 2021:
- Pending are the redundancies of the planned 3,750 workers from the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal, zero generation of the planned 245 jobs each year at this site and the complete loss of economic benefit to the taxpayer, who invested $177m into the site.
- A $5.3bn loss of revenue to the ATO by Q2 2021 from ‘no-sail’ conditions.
- NSW stands to lose the greatest share of economic benefit from cruising, $2.9 billion in direct and indirect economic output and 9,389 jobs.
- Queensland would lose $832 million in direct and indirect economic output and 2658 jobs
- Victoria would lose $381 million in direct and indirect economic output and 1,108 jobs.
- Western Australia would lose $262 million in direct and indirect economic output
- South Australia ($122 million)
- Tasmania ($104 million)
- Northern Territory ($84 million)
- The accommodation sector would lose $367 million
- The food and beverage sector $227 million
Additional resources for media: