Federal MP Warren Ent is pushing for an accelerated resumption of cruises along Australia’s east coast to revitalize the regional economy that has been struggling with the business downturn since the recent COVID-19 outbreaks.

Important points:

  • Federal MP Warren Ent leads the drive to bring cruise ships back to the east coast
  • The cruise industry has stalled during the pandemic
  • Regional coastal cities say industry can provide a significant economic boost

The cruise industry has been infamous since Ruby princess was at the center of one of Australia’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks, putting the sector on hold indefinitely.

Leichhardt’s Coalition MP, Mr.Dec, says the industry has learned a lot since that debacle and believes that effective COVID-19 security measures can be put in place to help the sector reboot.

“You’ve definitely learned lessons,” he said.

“It’s all about density … passenger density, crew training, and the way food is served – a whole bunch of things that can be done.”

Read our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic The Ruby Princess cruise ship was at the center of a major COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. (

AAP: Joel Carrett


Mr Dec said small steps should be taken to bring the industry back to regional hubs – including Cairns in Queensland and Eden on the south coast of NSW – which rely heavily on cruise lines for their economies.

“Eden or Cairns, there are ways to take small steps,” he said.

“We have a lot of Australian companies that are 100 percent dependent on it.

“There are protocols and they do it exceptionally well.”

LNP MP Warren Ent is pushing for the cruise industry to get back on its feet along the east coast of Australia.

ABC News: Ian Cutmore


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Regional centers hurt

Since the Victorian border closed and Greater Sydney’s lockdown extended, businesses in regional cities like Eden have seen a significant economic downturn.

Eric Wolske, president of the Eden Business Chamber, said the halt to cruise shipping contributed to the economic losses suffered by local businesses.

“It was obviously one of those nails in the coffin again,” he said.

“A lot of tour operators rely on the cruise industry alongside a lot of high street businesses.”

A cruise ship docks at a new quay Eden became a popular cruise ship destination prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ABC South East NSW: Claire Wheaton


However, he believes that security must be ensured before the industry can get started again.

“We need to make sure that security protocols are paramount for this to work,” he said.

“You absolutely have to make sure that the safety of the people on board and of the people in the cities they enter is taken into account.”