Mayoral candidate Claire Richardson talks bay island tourism with an eye on Olympics

MAYORAL candidate Claire Richardson says locating the Olympic sailing headquarters at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron (RQYS) in Manly during the 2032 Olympic Games would offer Redland City the chance to attract thousands of visitors.

ISLAND STYLE: Karragarra Island

ISLAND STYLE: Karragarra Island

"Hundreds of competitors and support staff would be based at Manly for up to two years before the Olympics. There is an opportunity for Redland City to provide great destinations on the bay islands for day trips and overnight stays. All these visitors have access to water transport," she said.

Ms Richardson believed directing investment into facilities that would bring long term benefits to residents and visitors to Moreton Bay, and the bay islands made more sense than funding a local Olympic white water rafting facility that would be used by few local residents.

According to Ms Richardson the bay islands were in a prime position to tap into the recreational boating community if more marine facilities were provided.

"This would provide a long term economic boost to the islands if visitor moorings could be provided at key locations on each island, allowing tourists to access local commercial and entertainment facilities," she said.

RQYS general manager, Shawn Ket said the squadron had sailing and power cruising groups that regularly toured the bay. The cruising groups involved 20 to 30 vessels, each with two to five crew on board.

"However there are limited secure visitor access points on the bay islands. With secure vessel and dinghy access to island commercial facilities offering meals and entertainment, there could be a significant boost to the economy," he said.

RQYS owns and operates a member facility in the Redlands at RQYS Canaipa on Russell Island, bringing hundreds of members to the island regularly.

Mr. Ket said the RQYS would be keen to work with Redland City and the state government in developing these facilities.