A new ferry link between Brisbane’s CBD and North Stradbroke Island will be open before Christmas, Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones says.
Ms Jones said $5.5 million had been provided for the construction of three pontoons at Howard Smith Wharves, near the Story Bridge, accommodating a ferry service to the island.
“Before the end of year, Queenslanders and Brisbane residents will be able to come down to Howard Smith Wharves, which will be the gateway to Moreton Bay,” she said.
This is something that the tourism industry has spoken about for years. Through our growing infrastructure fund, we are proud to deliver this link from the heart of Brisbane to Moreton Bay.
She said the pontoon would make ferry day trips to the Moreton Bay island much easier, cutting out the need to travel to Cleveland and Redland Bay.
The trip to North Stradbroke Island from Brisbane’s CBD currently takes about two hours.
It requires a 30-kilometre drive to Cleveland and a 30-minute ferry from Toondah Harbour to Dunwich on the island.
By public transport, from Roma Street Station, the trip takes two-and-a-half hours and includes travel by train, bus and ferry.
Member for McConnel Grace Grace said the new plan would mean the trip to Stradbroke Island would take only 40 minutes.
“From this heart of Brisbane’s city, thousands of my constituents can come down to the pontoon, get on a ferry and be in Moreton Bay on the beautiful Stradbroke Island that everyone in my electorate absolutely loves,” she said.
“This is a game changer. There are so many people right behind me in these apartments who will benefit from having their own pontoon right next door to them where they can hop on a catamaran, on a ferry and be on Straddie in 40 minutes.”
Ms Jones said negotiations were underway to get the boats operating by Christmas.
John Groom’s family business has been running ferries from Cleveland, on the mainland, to North Stradbroke Island for more than 30 years.
He dismissed the claim of a 40-minute trip as false advertising.
“Sounds like a croc of rubbish,” he said.
“It’s impossible. There’s no real island within 40 minutes travel of Brisbane city.
“You’d get to the mouth of the river in about 45 minutes with a perfect run… if you could go flat out.
“No commercial vessel is allowed to do that. Commercial vessels’ top speed is 24.9 knots. That’s just the law.”
He estimated the trip would, in reality, take more than two hours.
“I don’t believe it’s going to bite into our business, because they can’t provide the service,” he said.
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