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New ferry from Redcliffe Jetty to Moreton Island proves popular with first service sold out

MORETON Island is now in reach, with a ferry to and from the Redcliffe Jetty starting on September 24.

The announcement, revealed exclusively by the Redcliffe & Bayside Herald, was met with excitement from locals who have missed a Moreton ­Island connection since the Combie Trader II ceased ­operation in 2008. But concerns have been raised about the cost.

A return trip between the Redcliffe Jetty and Bulwer, which takes about 45 minutes, will cost $80 per adult, $62 for a child, or $220 for a family.

In comparison, one-way tickets from the closest service at the Port of Brisbane cost $28 for an adult or $18 for a child ($56 return for adult; and $36 return for a child).

But it takes double the time once on the boat plus time and costs associated with travelling to Brisbane.

The ferry service from Pinkenba to Tangalooma Island Resort takes about 75 minutes and costs $80 for adults and $45 for a child.

The Redcliffe2Moreton Express, which connects Redcliffe to Moreton Island.

While many have taken to the Herald’s Facebook page to express their dislike at the cost, many others are willing to pay $24 more per adult ticket for the convenience and in support of local business on the Peninsula.

Taking a vehicle from Port of Brisbane – which the Redcliffe service does not offer – costs from $75 each way including the driver, and up to $300 for a trip in peak season.

The ferry will depart the Redcliffe Jetty at 10am for the first time on ­September 24, and every Sunday thereafter, with the permit allowing for additional services.

The boat leaves Bulwer at 3pm and arrives back at the Peninsula by 4pm.

Moreton Island from the air. Picture: Queensland Tourism

The 22m ferry known as Redcliffe2Moreton Express carries up to 100 passengers and will be run by local business Dolphin Wild Island Cruises owners Jim and Lisa Edwards.
Moreton Bay Region Industry and Tourism, a contractor of Moreton Bay Regional Council tasked with running most of the council’s events and promoting tourism and business in the region, will operate the service.
MBRIT chief executive Shane Newcombe said the price was “competitive” and the service relied on patronage to remain viable.
“The demand we get for the ferry will play a huge role in increased services and (changes to) pricing,” Mr Newcombe said.
An online poll, conducted by the Herald, found more than 40 per cent of the 400-plus respondents wanted the service to operate on Friday afternoon, to allow for weekend stays on the island.
Those who said they wanted to try the service said they were happy to support a family-owned and operated business.
Annalese Greiner told the Herald: “I would (be) happy to support this family-owned business trying to bring something back to the region that has been missed and sought after by community for so long.”
“Another great thing for tourists and locals to do right from our backyard. Buy local, support local business.”
Mr Newcombe thanked Redcliffe state Labor MP Yvette D’Ath and Environment Minister Steven Miles for their support with State Government approvals, as well as Moreton Bay Regional Council.
Ms D’Ath said the credit belonged to Mrs Edwards for coming up with the idea and plan for a ferry service.
“Anyone on the northside now doesn’t have to … spend most of the day travelling to Moreton. They can come here, have breakfast and enjoy the markets, get on a boat and be on Moreton Island less than an hour later, and then return here for a meal,” Ms D’Ath said.
Councillor Koliana Winchester (Div 5) said the issue of carpark spaces near the Redcliffe Jetty was something she would discuss with MBRIT if needed,but pointed out there were several nearby carparks, including in front of the Redcliffe police station to the north and near Settlement Cove Lagoon to the south.
Mrs Edwards, whose business has operated on the Peninsula for close to 30 years, said there were a lot of costs associated with operating the vessel and she hoped residents and visitors would support the service.
“If we can’t cover costs, we can’t operate,” she said.
She said there would be a taxi service once passengers arrived at Bulwer.
“We are really excited to offer this to the community, and the businesses it will support,” Mrs Edwards said.

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Billion-Dollar Facelift For Gabba Stadium Planned


A $1-billion redevelopment of Brisbane’s Gabba stadium will be at the heart of the city’s bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games and Paralympics.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk revealed the Gabba precinct would be the centrepiece for the Games. It would showcase the city and use the neighbouring Cross River Rail, she said.

“The Gabba has been home to our sport since 1895 …. a home for the 2032 Olympic Paralympic Games could be its crowning glory,” Palaszczuk said.

The proposed upgrade would increase capacity from 42,000 to 50,000, which has left some critics questioning the value of the billion-dollar price tag.

It is a substantial chunk of the $4.5bn budget initially proposed by the International Olympic Committee when Brisbane was announced as the preferred venue earlier this year.

The plans would capitalise on the connected Cross River Rail station, already under construction and due for completion in 2024, and would also include a new pedestrian plaza to link the two facilities, replacing initial suggestions of Albion as a potential stadium site.


▲ The $5.4bn Cross River Rail is due for completion in 2024 and is key to Brisbane’s bid for the Olympic Games in 2032. 

Palaszczuk said hosting the games in the city’s centre would make the games more accessible to more people, and the pedestrianised plaza would also be part of the events focus.

The Games is predicted to create more than 100,000 new jobs and fast-track infrastructure developments across south-east Queensland.

Brisbane stadium design firm Populous provided concepts of what The Gabba would look like as an Olympic Games venue.

Palaszczuk said the plans were contingent on financial commitments from all levels of government, and that she had been in conversation with Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates met the Queensland government cabinet earlier this week and said the IOC did not want countries to go out and spend big money on “white elephant” infrastructure.

“They’ve got to get in one [mindset] in terms of the funding not for the games but the funding, that this region requires to host the games…the future infrastructure, transport, in particular rail and road,” Coates said.

“The IOC is on a budget of circa $4.5 billion, the IOC puts in $2.5 billion give or take the exchange rate … then you get $1 billion from national sponsorship and $1 billion from ticketing.”


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The Gabba Games – State’s $1b plan to turn stadium into sporting Mecca for 2032


The Palaszczuk government will push ahead with a redevelopment of The Gabba as the centrepiece of its 2032 Olympic Games bid, but it still needs support and a whole lot of money.

The government has rejected lacklustre greenfield sites near Bowen Hills and instead gone across the river to Queensland’s major AFL and cricket venue at Woolloongabba. If the plan goes ahead, and Queensland secures the games, The Gabba will become a building site for five years while an Olympic-class stadium is built.

The Gabba is normally used around 40 weeks in every year. Taking it out of action will require negotiation with a neighbouring school, the Brisbane Lions and Queensland Bulls, along with the Queensland Cricketers’ Club, which has previously been a stumbling block to work on the stadium. It is yet to be seen whether losing a home ground, and maximum revenue for five years, is worth having a larger, modern venue to return to.

While the International Olympic Committee favours using existing venues, thereby reducing the cost to host cities, Palaszczuk is intent on asking the Commonwealth to help fund a complete rebuild. There is no funding agreement yet, let alone architectural plans, but Palaszczuk suggested the new stadium could cost $1 billion.

Palaszczuk said another 8,000 seats could be added to The Gabba, taking its capacity to 50,000, serviced by the nearby Cross River Rail station currently under construction. It would be higher than the existing stadium, to allow for pedestrian overpasses across nearby roads to funnel patrons directly into the new venue.

That would give The Gabba more seats than the old QE2 stadium, which currently has capacity of 48,500, but fewer seats than Suncorp Stadium (52,500). It would have better transport connections than the Nathan venue and in the circular format that suits athletic events and the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies.

“The Gabba has been home to our sport since 1895,” Palaszczuk said.

“A home for the 2032 Olympic Paralympic Games could be its crowning glory.”

“We’ve hosted the AFL here, we’ve hosted cricket here, but for the Olympics, this is front and centre – opening and closing ceremonies, athletics, you name it, it’s going to be the best,” she told Nine’s Today program.

Palaszczuk told parliament a key factor in deciding to use The Gabba was being able to utilise the adjacent Cross River Rail station. She noted the rail project was being delivered with “not one dollar from the Commonwealth” but her office was not in a position to clarify whether the $1 billion would include any rail station components.

The Gabba was built in 1895 and has undergone two substantial renovations and refurbishments since 1993.

The last major redevelopment was completed in 2005 when a 24-bay grandstand built for $128 million.

The Gabba’s public, corporate and media facilities also received a $35 million upgrade in 2020.

The Labor government will seek financial support from Brisbane City Council and the federal government for the project.

“We do need this, and it’s going to be utilised for the future, so they don’t want white elephants they want workhorses, and The Gabba is definitely a workhorse,” Palaszczuk said.

The International Olympics Committee named Brisbane as its preferred host city in February.

But a final decision rests on detailed discussions with Games chiefs and key commitments from the federal government.

Australian Olympics Committee president John Coates addressed cabinet on Monday, where MPs formally endorsed Brisbane’s candidacy.

“This is still contingent on guarantees that need to be received from the federal government,” Palaszczuk stressed on Monday.

She has had a discussion with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and more talks will occur in the coming weeks.

“We are basically doing years and months of work in a very short time frame to meet the deadlines the IOC has set us,” she said.

The state needed the boost the games would bring, including 130,000 jobs.

“It gives us hope, after going through the pandemic. It gives us hope for the future,” the premier said.

Morrison is expected to have more to say on Queensland’s Olympic plans on Tuesday.

Last month, he told the IOC the Australian government was firmly behind Brisbane to host the games.

But Brisbane is not without rivals.

Earlier this month, South Korea said Seoul had submitted a proposal to host the 2032 games, despite Brisbane’s frontrunner status.


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City Council Backs Brisbane Olympic Bid


He was the sole voice of opposition to Brisbane City Council’s bid to host the Olympics but Greens councillor Jonathan Sri is adamant the negative impacts outweigh the positive.

The council’s confidential meeting this week included briefings from president of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) John Coates and the president of the Paralympics Committee Jock O’Callaghan.

The vote to formalise Brisbane’s commitment to the Games has paved the way for a formal bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games. It received bipartisan support with Sri the only dissenter.

Media and the public were barred from the meeting, to protect the locations of potential developments and any impacts it would have on property prices, the council said.

“While hosting undoubtedly offers some positive opportunities, after considering all the available information, I was concerned that the negative impacts upon our city will outweigh the benefits,” Sri said.

“Evidence from recent Olympics points to major cost overruns, significant disruption to residents, superfluous sports infrastructure that’s not as useful long-term as proponents might have suggested, and economic benefits flowing predominantly to major corporations rather than local businesses.”

Sri said taxpayers would have to foot the bill, estimated to be about $900 million, to develop new sporting venues.

An IOC feasibility study highlighted Brisbane’s need for about 20 per cent more sporting facilities.

Sri said the council and state governments were negotiating with the IOC over a new 50,000-seat stadium earmarked for Albion.

The Brisbane bid includes plans for seven new venues across the southeast corner, but that could be reduced to two with the use of existing facilities.


“While some of the infrastructure built for the Olympics can certainly leave a positive legacy and lasting public benefit, it’s almost inevitable that we’ll also spend public money building Olympics-standard sports facilities that we don’t really need and wouldn’t otherwise waste money on,” Sri said.

Brisbane was announced as a preferred candidate in February.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the formalised commitment to the Games bid had received bipartisan support which was a “strong result”.

He said the Games presented a good value proposition for the city and he hoped they would receive the green light as early as July, when the Tokyo Games were due to begin.

“Brisbane City Council voted yes to the jobs that will be created, yes to the opportunities this will bring to our city, yes to the opportunity this will bring to our region and our state and yes to the bring forward and fast tracking of infrastructure and investment in our region that will service the needs of a growing population,” Schrinner said.

The final submission from the three levels of government and the AOC is due in April.


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