Full state funding required for $26 million SMBI marine infrastructure

Redland City Council has called for full state funding to upgrade the Southern Moreton Bay Island ferry terminals to provide a safer more reliable service to residents.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said public transport was operated and funded by the State Government and as a result it was appropriate for the State Government to fund the $26 million needed to upgrade the ferry terminals for safety reasons and to meet Federal DDA compliance.

“The original ferry terminals were constructed by the State and then transferred to Council sometime in the 1990’s and since then ratepayers have been paying for their upkeep.

“Today’s decision makes it clear that going forward the State should fund the capital cost, as well as owning and maintaining the completed ferry terminals.

Cr Williams said Redland City Council was the only Queensland Local Government Authority with ongoing responsibility for ferry terminal infrastructure on regulated Translink ferry routes (excluding Brisbane City Council).

“Apart from the precedent of State responsibility for public transport facilities, the reality is that Council does not have access to public infrastructure funding necessary to meet SMBI ferry infrastructure replacement costs; it would financially cripple out ratepayers.

“It is important to note that there is already a substantial cost to Redland ratepayers of landside works to connect this infrastructure, and that is important in the business case consideration.

“Council will continue to construct and maintain landside infrastructure such as car parks and connecting roads.”

“Redland ratepayers are currently investing $6 million in the Macleay Island Foreshore carpark is an example of landside terminal access and parking improvements Council currently funds.

“While the Weinam Creek bus ferry terminal facility has been funded by the state, there remains a major public infrastructure investment requirement for the surrounding public parking area that Council is looking to address.

Cr Karen Williams said Council has been working in partnership with the State Government for over two years to develop a business case for the much needed upgrade of the ageing terminals.

“We have appreciated this working partnership and recognition that the ferry terminals are ageing, in poor condition, overcrowded and unable to meet rising demand and lack amenity including mandated modern disability standards,“ Cr Williams said.

“The SMBI ferry terminals, located at Russell, Macleay, Lamb and Karragarra Islands, are an amalgam of jetty, pontoon and gangway structures.

“Their replacement with modern and future proof infrastructure is fundamental to our SMBI community who have been actively involved in planning for new amenities.

“This has included studies, community and stakeholder consultation, and the development of concept design.

“We are not walking away from SMBI – we are walking with them on this fundamental issue.

“We will continue to honour the current arrangement and our absolute commitment to the SMBI, and sincerely hope that the partnership with the State will continue and they will respond positively with much needed support to meet the aspirations of these important island communities.”