Exmouth Marine Infrastructure

Completed 2021

Exmouth is widely acknowledged by the cruise industry as a transformational cruise destination capped by its status as World Heritage Area. With its ‘bucket-list’ tourism experiences, strategic north-west cape location and proximity to South East Asia, the ability to bring Exmouth on-line as a guaranteed transit-port will benefit Western Australia’s cruise sector and and wider State economy. However, Exmouth does not possess suitable and reliable marine infrastructure.

The current Exmouth Boat Harbour is designed to service recreational and commercial vessels up to 35 metres in length. Cruise ships anchor offshore and transfer patrons to shore using tender vessels, a lengthy process that is vulnerable to windy weather. In January 2019 to redress this gap, the Commission began a project to conduct an options analysis and economic benefits analysis to inform the progression of a marine infrastructure solution to support regular cruise ship visitation to Exmouth.

In June 2019, ACIL Allen Consulting was engaged by Gascoyne Development Commission to undertake an Options Assessment and Economic Benefit Assessment of options to invest in new marine infrastructure at Exmouth. To assist in this task, ACIL Allen engaged marine engineering firm BMT Group to provide engineering advice and analysis. This included the development of initial concept drawings.

Overall, the study found that there are likely to be net benefits to Western Australia associated with the provision of the new marine infrastructure in order of between $128 million and $154.1 million over the life of the new infrastructure. In a Benefit Cost Assessment framework, the Benefit Cost Ratio of the new infrastructure is estimated to be between 1.99 and 2.52. ACIL Allen estimates that nearly 700 full-time jobs would be created and sustained as a result of the infrastructure; with 70 of those created in the Gascoyne region.

The Commission's work on this project is complete and further actions are on hold as the market-led Gascoyne Gateway project progresses. The Commission will continue working with stakeholders to monitor:

  • post-COVID recovery of international and domestic cruise demand
  • development of the market-led Gascoyne Gateway proposal
  • outcomes of the Environmental Protection Authority’s strategic advice on the cumulative impacts of current and proposed developments in the Exmouth Gulf area, and
  • any other reasonable option to progress cruise ship berthing

The Commission will also continue to advocate for a fit-for-purpose cruise-ship solution for Exmouth through the continuation of the Exmouth Marine infrastructure working group which is chaired by the Commission.


Economic Benefits Assessment of Exmouth Marine Infrastructure Project