THE Palaszczuk government will splash out $17.5 million for ferry terminal infrastructure on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands.
Redlands MP Kim Richards said the money allocated in the 2018-19 budget would see the Queensland government fully fund the upgrade of the Russell Island ferry terminal and pay half the cost of upgrading Macleay, Lamb and Karragarra terminals.
“I’ve been fighting hard for upgrades to ferry terminals on our islands since my election last year,” Ms Richards said.
“The upgrades follow on from the opening last year of the $8.5 million upgrade of the Redland Bay marina bus station which provides a link for passengers who transfer between TransLink’s Southern Moreton Bay Island ferry and bus services.”
Mayor Karen Williams said the announcement was a good start and that by agreeing to fully fund the Russell Island ferry terminal the state was acknowledging the public transport infrastructure was their responsibility.
“Now they have shown their commitment to the Russell Island community, no doubt the other Southern Moreton Bay Island communities will be looking forward to receiving the same commitment,” she said.
“Delivering infrastructure is all about partnerships and by funding all the marine infrastructure for our SMBIs the state would allow council to spend money on the land side infrastructure such as at Weinam Creek.
Cr Williams said the announcement came after many years of lobbying for infrastructure investment on the bay islands.
“The realisation that we were the only council of our size in Queensland required to fund and manage these state responsibilities is certainly an inequality that we appreciate the state rectifying.”
Last month Redland City Council called on the state government to fully fund the $26 million upgrade and assume ownership of the jetties which badly need repairs.
A council report estimated the cost for upgrades to Russell Island ferry terminal was $10.8 million, Macleay Island $6 million, Lamb Island $5 million and Karragarra $4.5 million.
The report stated a $250,000 business case funded by Translink for the terminals replacement was to be considered by the Translink board in July.
Ms Richards said ferry services were delivered on the islands in partnership with council and were integrated into the Translink south-east Queensland network. Residents could also travel for no cost between the four islands, which was funded by council.
“I know how important having public transport that connects with the rest of south-east Queensland is for islanders and that is why I’m looking forward to working with council to finalise the details of these upgrades so we can get on with delivering the fair access to public transport our islands deserve,” Ms Richards said.