ASK and Newcastle City Council would receive funds to investigate the viability of a new cruise ship terminal at Queens Wharf, Minister for Hunter Jodi McKay said yesterday.
The minister has thrown her full support behind the push for a terminal.
She said a possible partnership between public and private sectors could be needed to get it over the line.
Money to complete a feasibility study on building the terminal at or near the Queens Wharf site was guaranteed, Ms McKay said.
A dedicated cruise terminal at the site would further cement Newcastle's position as the state's second cruising city.
"We know the Queens Wharf site is the only one that can accommodate ships of these sizes," Ms McKay said.
"But council would have to look at ongoing maintenance costs of an ageing site like that.
"There is strength in a possible private and public sector partnership model and a convention centre at the site could be something the private sector come back with."
A Herald poll shows that 79.1 per cent are in favour of a terminal at Queens Wharf with 20.9 per cent against.
Councillor Aaron Buman will ask fellow Newcastle councillors at the February 16 meeting to approach the State Government for money to finish the study.
Tenders for the State Government-funded $2.5 million temporary cruise ship Channel Berth would be put to tender soon, Ms McKay said.
The State Government announced in September that it was spending the money refurbishing the berth, near Dyke Point.
From September, P&O Cruises will become the first cruise company to base a ship in the city when the Pacific Sun operates out of the Port of Newcastle.
Having passengers and about 700 crew embark and disembark in the city for at least 14 voyages is expected to result in a $6 million economic benefit.