Cascade Pier upgrade complete and fisherman’s crane re-installed
21 April 2018
I am very pleased the Cascade Pier upgrade is now complete and the fisherman’s crane has been re‑installed. I am aware this significant infrastructure project has been underway for some time, and that this valuable asset will be open to the public from today, Saturday 21 April 2018. The Australian Government’s $16.9 million investment to complete the pier upgrade will facilitate greater access to Norfolk Island for cruise ships and better support cargo transfers. Naturally, this is important for tourism and for local businesses.
The pier is now 24 metres longer and 1 metre taller and is also much stronger than it was prior to the works commencing in May 2016. The pier has been designed for a 50 year service life through the use of stainless steel reinforcement and stainless steel permanent anchors. A boom dock hydraulic crane is now permanently located on the pier to launch and retrieve passenger transfer vessels and heavy freight.
This is an amazing piece of engineering and will provide a calmer and safer operating environment for all users. Additional safety features provided for local users include the installation of guardrails, a safety ladder, a life buoy and better lighting. New tidal stairs and hand-railing will also provide safer access for cruise ship passengers, fishing charters and other vessels.
Providing safe and reliable access for vessels will increase economic opportunities for the Norfolk Island community. Local fishing charters will be able to launch their boats safely under a wider range of conditions, more cruise ships will be able to disembark and there will be fewer freight delays. I am also pleased to advise the Norfolk Island Fishing Association (NIFA) fisherman’s crane has been re-installed. I understand this crane is important to the Norfolk Island community and I would like to thank the NIFA for contributing their ideas on structural adjustments to improve the safety of its operation.
The Australian Government is also funding the construction of passenger transfer vessels to support Norfolk Island’s reputation as a desirable cruise ship destination and to boost the local economy. The vessels are expected to be available by mid-2019 and will encourage more cruise ships to visit as they will reduce the risks operators currently face when disembarking their passengers and increase the potential number of tours that local operators can conduct.
I would like to thank the local Norfolk Island community for your patience during the construction of this asset as I recognise there has been considerable disruption to commercial and recreational users of the pier.
I am advised the boost in construction activities has provided employment for an average of 10 local people on the site over the two-year construction period, in addition to the several other local people employed on metal fabrication, rock crushing, earthmoving and concrete batching tasks. I understand also that the contribution of local skills and know-how has been invaluable throughout the construction process.
I am pleased the project provided an opportunity to use local rock for concrete in the construction of the pier. Lot 44a next to the Norfolk Island School is now clear of debris, and it can now be used for other purposes.
I hope that all Norfolk Island residents enjoy the new pier and the economic link it will provide with mainland Australia and other destinations.