Ferry Terminal Upgrade Needed Now – Not a $1.3 billion Residential Development
I have undertaken a great deal of research to identify existing ways for halting this huge residential development – and for urgently fast tracking the North Stradbroke Island/Minjerribah ferry terminal upgrade in Cleveland.
Everyone agrees we need to fast track the Toondah Harbour ferry terminal to support local jobs and tourism on Straddie, rather than waiting many more years for assessment of the controversial $1.3 billion residential/marina development to be built on about 48 Ha of dredge spoil in the protected Moreton Bay Marine Park. The development plans to build 3,600 units to house about 8,000 people in up to 10 storey apartments buildings, a marina and other commercial facilities.
Official Ferry Terminal Upgrade Costs don’t Add Up
This development came about in 2013 at the request of Redland City Council to Campbell Newman’s LNP government – as an excuse for a commercially-funded upgraded ferry terminal. Redland City Council provided costings of $116 million for the channel works and ferry terminal upgrade and stated ratepayers could not afford this. With dredging of the marine channel in 2014 costing approximately $4.5 million, and with a total cost of $34.1 million for four new ferry pontoons and passenger terminals at Southern Moreton Bay Islands announced just a few months ago, the original $116 million price tag appears to significantly overstate the true cost of completing the badly needed ferry terminal upgrade.
Costly Marine Channel Upgrade Discredited
Perhaps the basis for Council’s inflated cost estimate was the same as the Walker Group’s claim the existing marine channel needs upgrading for safety reasons. This claim has already been discredited. Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ), the government agency responsible for waterways, has confirmed that the existing channel meets safety requirements and no upgrade is needed to meet present needs. MSQ advised an upgrade would only be necessary on maritime safety grounds if changes like those proposed in the Walker Group’s development go ahead.