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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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Four new police constables have started in the Moreton Police District



Four new police constables have started in the Moreton Police District

Kay Alexander grew up idolising her grandma, a police officer during WWII, and now she will be a role model for aspiring cops.

The 46-year-old is the oldest of the four first-year constables who started in the Moreton Police District three weeks ago. They graduated from the academy on Thursday, January 18 with 34 other officers.

Loretta Lester is stationed at Redcliffe station, Pedau Grabbe at Deception Bay and Deb Hill and Ms Alexander at Caboolture.

From the fitness industry to finance, each officer has a varied background.

“I don’t think you fall into it — you make a conscious decision,” Ms Alexander said.

“It was in the back of my mind for quite some time, but being female and having a family as well, I just kept putting it off.

“I always looked up to them and thought they were superheroes.

“Eventually I just went, ‘I’m going to do it’.”

All four have been thrown into the deep end in their first three weeks on duty, with Ms Hill being called out to a code 1 job the first time she got behind the wheel of her patrol car.

Ms Lester, 29, said the thrill of not knowing what to expect was a big lure for becoming an officer.

“The first domestic violence job I went to, I remember the feeling of, ‘wow, I’ve got no idea of what to do’,” she said.

“I was 100 per cent relying on my field training officer — (but) it’s experiences like that, you look back at and you’re learning all the time.

“(On jobs) you’re communicating the whole time about what you might find and how to deal with it.

“So when you get there you’ve got a plan.”

Each officer will spend eight weeks with their field training officer at their stations before graduating.


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How train lines are driving property prices



How train lines are driving property prices

A train on the new Redcliffe Peninsula line. Source: Supplied

HOW access to train lines are driving property profits.

Redcliffe residents waited more than 130 years for a train line, and now that it’s here it is raising interest in the peninsula and its property market.

The Redcliffe Peninsula was cut off from the rest of the southeast’s rail network, until the long mooted train line finally opened in late-2016.

Locals can now hop on a train from any of Redcliffe’s six train stations, and that has become a juicy selling point for the area’s real estate agents.

General manager at LJ Hooker Redcliffe, Kylie Loof, said the new train line was often a topic of discussion from a certain type of buyer.

“The people that are talking about it are from other states,” Ms Loof said. “They ask ‘is it close to the new train line?’.”

The interstate interest makes a curious disparity, Ms Loof said, as many locals still kept old travelling habits from before the line opened.

She said many locals still drove across the bridge to get to Shorncliffe Station to catch the train, a tactic she said could save a bit of time on a commute to Brisbane.

She estimated that before the line opened, only about 30 per cent of investors in the area would be from interstate.

“Now it is about 50/50,” she said.

In peak times, the train from Redcliffe can take the best part of an hour to reach Brisbane’s CBD, which might sound a lot for the average Queensland

But for one Sydney-based investor, the announcement of the train line helped him invest his hard earned cash in what he predicts will be a strong growth area.

Take Ekanayake, 29, has purchased three investment properties in the past two years, looking at long-term growth.

This home at 4 Lydia Court in Deception Bay that recently sold is just a quick drive from the new train line. Source: Supplied

This home at 4 Lydia Court in Deception Bay that recently sold is just a quick drive from the new train line. Source: Supplied

Although the properties, at Scarborough, Kallangur and Deception Bay, have not experienced immense growth in recent years, he believed this would change.

“Being from Sydney, whenever a major infrastructure with trains gets announced there is a massive growth in the area in terms of real estate,” Mr Ekanayake said.

He predicted that there would be a time when more and more Redcliffe residents would use the train, and this would be a positive for property owners.

He pointed to other changes in the area, including the new University of the Sunshine Coast campus which will open in Petrie in 2020.

“Once you’ve got 10 to 20,000 more students in the area, the value of that train line is going to be more significant,” he said.

So far growth has been modest across the Redcliffe area since the track was announced back in 2010.

In the suburb of Kippa-Ring, which has the benefit of being close to the bay and the train line, the change in the median price for a house over the past five years was 19.9 per cent.

Nearby Mango Hill had slightly stronger growth over the five years at 22.6 per cent, but it was still modest compared to booms in Sydney and Melbourne.

With interstate migration to Queensland very strong, especially in the state’s southeast, Mr Ekanayake predicted the area was due for a boost.

“There has been so much media attention on the Sydney and Melbourne markets, but once Sydney starts to cool off, which it is, it is Brisbane that takes off,” he said.

“Brisbane is almost half the price (of Sydney) so right now there is a huge gap, and that gap has got to close.”

Harcourts Redcliffe owner Steve Hawley said you could see the changes in the Redcliffe area just by looking at the skyline.

“We are seeing a lot of new townhouses and multistorey developments, there are a lot of cranes out and about,” Mr Hawley said.

“We’ve been a sleepy town for that long so it is time to move ahead.”

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Decision on horizon for key marina section of huge North Harbour development at Burpengary



Decision on horizon for key marina section of huge North Harbour development at Burpengary

THE marina development at North Harbour, Burpengary, is a step closer after work in the Caboolture River was given the green light.

North Harbour developers North East Business Park, along with neighbouring developer Trask Development Corporation, applied to the State Government to carry out work that would allow construction of the marina on the south bank of the river.

The government wanted reassurances that the work would have no impact on the river, landholders and marine life.

It also wanted assurances on who would be responsible for managing eronsion on the northern bank, apposite the proposed marina.

Moreton Bay Regional councillors, at the December Coordination Meeting, agreed to take responsibility for the funding, ownership and ongoing maintenance of areas within the application area.

It was believed that Unitywater would also contribute to the erosion works.

North Harbour project director Peter Lightbody said there were still some steps to go before the marina went ahead, but it was an important step.

“There has been a lot of discusssion over who does what in the river,” he said.

“This council resolution means the council will look after the northern bank along with Unitywater with us as proponants on the southern bank.

“That means some entity has been identified for all componants and hopefully it is a way forward and a catalyst to get approval.”

An aerial view of Caboolture River.

An aerial view of Caboolture River.

Cr Peter Flannery (Div 2) said there would be significant economic benefits as a result of the decision.

“Caboolture River is currently eroding and I believe in the future we’ll have to take action to prevent erosion to our assets along there,” he said.

“The Federal Government has previously said they are happy for this to occur. There is a lot of community support for this, people are asking me when is it going to happen.”

Cr Adam Hain (Div 3) said once competed North Harbour would be “the most significant development in the northern end of the region” and a “game changer”.

Crs Darren Grimwade and Allan Sutherland declared a conflict of interest as one of the applicants was a political donor of theirs, left the Chamber and did not vote.

Trask Development Corporation owns land next to the North Harbour project and has been working with North East Business Park on getting approvals.

North East business park at Burpengary East.

North East business park at Burpengary East.

North Harbour developers North East Business Park, with neighbouring developer Trask Development Corporation, applied to the State Government to carry out work that would allow construction of the marina on the river’s south bank.

The government wanted reassurances work would not impact the river, landholders or marine life and to know who was responsible for managing erosion on the north bank, opposite the proposed marina.

Moreton Bay Regional councillors last week agreed to take responsibility for the funding, ownership and ongoing maintenance of areas within the application area.

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