QUESTION: Kangaroo Island Landing Fees

In Question Time, Mark asked the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, if a landing fee is payable for each visitor arriving by ferry or plane to Kangaroo Island, why there is no similar landing fee for passengers from cruise ships who come ashore. 

The Hon. M.C. PARNELL: Minister, is it correct that a landing fee is payable to the Kangaroo Island Council in relation to each visitor arriving by ferry or by plane and, if so, why is there no similar landing fee for passengers from cruise ships who come ashore on Kangaroo Island?

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment): I thank the Minister for his ongoing interest in Kangaroo Island. While I believe there may be fees being paid, I am advised that—and I will also check this—with landing fees that are paid on Kangaroo Island by planes, every passenger pays a landing fee at every airport, so I am not surprised that that would be the case. When it comes to ferries, I am not certain that a fee is paid by everybody that comes on the ferry, whether it is KI Connect or the SeaLink ferry, I am not sure.

There would be some fees and charges at the wharf, I suspect, for KI Connect, but regarding SeaLink, of course, there is an arrangement with the state government, which is a matter for the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure in relation to that relationship. Of course, that service is going through a tender process at the moment.

I know the honourable member did ask a question last sitting week in relation to some things that the council had done. I can update him a little bit on some of those. The SATC funds all the required infrastructure and information services servicing the arrivals of cruise ships and their passengers and crew to Kangaroo Island. There was an impact assessment that he had asked me if I had read. It has just appeared. It is on my desk as we speak. It has come through the system. I actually haven't read it yet, but the brief notes, as I am advised here, state that cruise ships at Kangaroo Island contributed some $22.3 million to the regional economy and $10 million direct expenditure.

The Kangaroo Island Council announced on 15 November that it would introduce a levy of $2.50 per cruise ship passenger from 1 July 2020. The council did not consult either the SATC or the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, who own and administer the landing structure. So discussions are now ongoing. However, the SATC has received indications from many from the industry that the introduction of a levy would potentially impact on the attractiveness of Kangaroo Island as a destination for cruise ships.

You can read Mark's question to the Minister regarding the 'Impacts of cruise ship visitation on Kangaroo Island' report here