A THREE-car barge with a gun locker and holding cell is just about ready for use by Redland Bay water police, pending the connection of electricity and water to a pontoon at Weinam Creek.
Redland Bay water police Sergeant Paul Ryan said the boat would enable quicker police responses to incidents on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands.
The boat can travel up to 28-knots, with space for either two four-wheel-drives, three sedans or 80 people during evacuations.
“We can have two police vehicles and 10 police on the islands in 15 minutes,” Sergeant Ryan said.
The boat was being kept at Murrarie as water and electricity were connected to the pontoon at Weinam Creek.
The barge is not yet commissioned but played a starring role in helping Police Commissioner Ian Stewart to launch a food collection by Queensland Police on Friday.
Commissioner Stewart said the boat, which was brought into Weinam Creek for the Foodbank launch, could carry up to seven tonnes of cargo.
This was the same amount he wanted people to help Queensland Police raise for Foodbank.
“It is ironic and symbolic that ... this is exactly the amount of food that we want to collect and distribute this year, with the help of Foodbank,” he said.
Foodbank Queensland chief executive Michael Rose said up to 18 per cent of people experienced food insecurity, describing Foodbank’s partnership with Queensland Police as fantastic.
“We work with 280 charities right across Queensland and opportunities such as this, to involve the community and helping the community, is what Foodbank is all about,” he said.
“It is very important we do this through the Queensland Police Service.”
Canned vegetables, soup and spaghetti, dried pasta and jars of pasta sauce are just some of the items able to be donated to police stations up until December 7, including at Cleveland, Capalaba and Capalaba police beat.
A Foodbank truck was reversed onto the Redland Bay water police barge, with the older and smaller barge used by Redland Bay water police brought in alongside during the launch.
The older barge, called the PV Stewart Kerlin, will be replaced by the bigger boat once commissioned, Sergeant Ryan said.
Earlier this year, a 10-metre boat was delivered to Redland Bay water police, replacing the older PV Des Trannore.
The replacements were part of a $5.4 million renewal of Queensland’s aging water police fleet, which included the addition of seven jet skis.