Better services on the horizon as ferry terminal hits the water

The delivery of Macleay Island’s new pontoon marks another key milestone in a $44.6 million ferry terminal upgrade project boosting transport services and supporting local economies.

Favourable tidal and weather conditions allowed the new pontoon to be floated over the last week to its destination on Macleay Island as part of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands (SMBI) Ferry Terminals Upgrade project.

The project is being delivered by the Palaszczuk Government in partnership with Redland City Council and provides new ferry terminals at Russell, Macleay, Lamb, and Karragarra islands.

Member for Redlands Kim Richards celebrated the progress of the project so far.

“Upgrading ferry terminals on the islands will refresh the area while improving accessibility for the region,” Ms Richards said.

“I’m proud to stand as part of the Palaszczuk Labor Government that is committed to supporting good jobs and better transport services right across the state.

“This investment in transport infrastructure not only supports jobs on the islands, but employment opportunities have been created in the design, manufacturing, construction and installation of the ferry terminals as well.

“Around 45 direct jobs are being supported over the life of this important infrastructure project, at a time when it is so important to have secure work.

“Thank you to all involved in building new ferry terminals for the island communities that need them most through one of the region’s largest transport infrastructure projects.”

Arrival of the Macleay Island pontoon.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the project was at an important stage with construction underway on the ferry terminals across all four islands.

“The delivery of the new pontoon is an exciting step for the Macleay Island community toward having a facility which will meet the transport needs of locals and tourists moving forward,” Mr Bailey said.

“Kim Richards has been a strong advocate for this project from the start, and this milestone puts us one step closer to completion.”

Ms Richards said the Macleay Island pontoon float out involved detailed planning prior to its departure from Eprapah Creek.

“The contractor took a different approach this time, with most of the Macleay island pontoon roof fit out completed prior to its arrival onsite,” she said.

“Now that the pontoon is here, work will continue on the pontoon and jetty, installation of the gangway, and delivery of the landside works.

“I am very pleased to say that completion of the new Macleay Island ferry terminal is on track for early next year, weather permitting.

“It’s investment like this that you only see from a Labor Government, delivering for the people of the Redlands.”

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the arrival of the Macleay Island pontoon was another significant milestone in a project set to improve travel to and from the islands.

“The joint Southern Moreton Bay Island Ferry Terminals Upgrade project represents one of the biggest infrastructure investments in the SMBI communities,” Cr Williams said.

“Redland City Council is committed to ensuring our remote Southern Moreton Bay Island communities are provided with safe, reliable and accessible transport to and from the mainland.

“The new pontoon is one step further in fulfilling that commitment.

“Council has contributed $15.4 million to the project and will also fund maintenance for all four terminals on Macleay, Russell, Lamb and Karragarra islands, once they are complete.

“The new pontoon not only looks fantastic but will provide a better waiting environment for customers and protection from the weather.”

Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards said he was pleased with the Quandamooka artwork gracing the ferry terminal’s walkways and the colour schemes that were developed in consultation with each island community.

“The pontoon’s unveiling represents yet another marker in a productive partnership with the State Government to bring much improved amenity to the SMBI community,” Cr Edwards said.

“Thanks to careful attention to cultural heritage by the Department of Transport and Main Roads and the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation the design features the island’s mangrove motif.

“In addition to the much improved aesthetics, residents and visitors alike are able to enjoy greater ease of access and protection from the elements.

“As popularity in our SMBI grow, the new ferry terminals may very well become tourism draw cards in their own rights.

“More is still to come.

“Work on similar facilities at Karragarra and Lamb islands continues, with completion expected by mid-2023.”

The new Macleay Island ferry terminal components were fabricated at The Jetty Specialist factory at the Sunshine Coast before moving to Aluminium Marine at Thornlands for the final fit out.

The project also includes repurposing the existing pontoons and jetties for recreational use, such as fishing and mooring.

When complete, ferry customers will benefit from increased seating, drinking fountains, more waiting areas with better weather protection, improved security and lighting, and wider jetties and gangways for improved accessibility.

Overall works on the four new terminals are planned for completion in mid-2023, with Russell Island scheduled for completion late-2022 (weather permitting).

The SMBI Ferry Terminals Upgrade project is a jointly funded $44.6 million project, with the Queensland Government contributing $29.2 million and Redland City Council contributing $15.4 million.

For more information on the project, visit the project page at or email the project team at