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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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Queensland’s $46 Billion Infrastructure Boom



Queensland’s $46 Billion Infrastructure Boom

The Palaszczuk Government has released an update to its 2018 State Infrastructure Plan as it aims to roll-out a total of $45.8 billion worth of infrastructure over the next four years.

The second part of its State Infrastructure Plan (SIP) focuses on a range of infrastructure spending with its updated release, outlining the $11.6 billion of infrastructure investment to be rolled out in 2018-19, which aims to support up to 38,000 jobs.

Economic forecaster Deloitte Access Economics said that the outlook for engineering construction in Queensland is better than it has been for some time.

“Rather than wallowing in cash from a strong property market and asset privatisations as NSW and Victoria are, the Government is relying more heavily on raising new tax revenue and increasing debt to fund this infrastructure,” Deloitte’s quarterly Business Outlook report said.

Up to 65 per cent of the Queensland’s infrastructure budget is allocated outside of the greater Brisbane area, explained Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick.

“Programs like the Queensland Transport Roads and Investment Program 2018-19 to 2021-22 outlines $21.7 billion in transport and road infrastructure over the next four years, estimated to support an average of 19,200 direct jobs over the life of the program.

Queensland’s $46 Billion Infrastructure Boom

The $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project, the biggest state funded infrastructure commitment in more than a decade, will be delivered in partnership with the private sector, explains Dick.

Infrastructure Association of Queensland chief executive Steve Abson said the infrastructure investment strategies update provides the private sector with confidence to invest in their Queensland operations.

With it now required to be “actioned collaboratively by all levels of government and the private sector”.

Seven new projects have been added to the Building Queensland (BQ) infrastructure pipeline, including upgrades to the centenary motorway and Sunshine Motorway, and a third track to be added to the Gold Coast rail line between Kuraby and Beenleigh.

Queensland’s $46 Billion Infrastructure Boom
Seven new projects have been added to the Building Queensland infrastructure pipeline, including a third track on the Gold Coast railway line to be further investigated

BQ Infrastructure Pipeline Report which presents priority infrastructure proposals under development by the Queensland government, shows 18 proposals from the pipeline has received funding commitments from state government since June 2016.

These include upgrades to the M1 from Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill, and Varsity Lakes to Tugan, the Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Upgrade, the Lower Fitzroy River Infrastructure Project and the New Performing Arts Venue.

A rise in interstate migration is seeing more people moving to Queensland, according to the Deloitte’s Business Outlook report, which says the sunshine state now has the third-fastest rate of population growth behind Victoria and the ACT.

The report said that Queensland is “well and truly” through the worst of its mining construction downturn as eye-watering house prices south of the border are sending more “economic refugees north to Queensland”.


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Budget delivers more record road spending for the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay areas



Budget delivers more record road spending for the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay areas

The Palaszczuk Government will deliver $509.7 million in 2018-19 for the North Coast district as part of another record investment in road and transport infrastructure for the third year in a row.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the district was one of the many beneficiaries of the blockbuster roads budget being delivered under the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (QTRIP).

“Funding for the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay area is part of the Queensland Government’s record spend on road and transport infrastructure across the state for the third year running, with an investment of about $21.7 billion over the next four years,” Mr Bailey said.

“This will include $2.917 billion of works planned just for this area alone, over the next four years, supporting an average of 2689 direct jobs.

“Continuing works on the Bruce Highway and other key links around the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay are the main focus.

“We’re also looking to get cars off the Bruce, and Sunshine Coast commuters will benefit from $160.8 million Queensland Government funding for the Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrade, which will support an average of 312 jobs per year over the life of the project, with design work getting underway in 18-19.

Mr Bailey said major projects for the North Coast district in 2018-19 included:

–     Bruce Highway Upgrade Project, continue widening of the highway from four to six lanes between Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway and upgrading the interchanges for a total cost of  $812.9 million (2018-19 $200 million)

–     Bruce Highway, continue installing safety barriers along the highway between Beerburrum and Cooroy for a total cost of $79.8 million (2018-19 $42.5 million)

–     Burpengary Caboolture Road (locally known as Morayfield Road) and Beerburrum Road Route Safety project, start work on safety treatments along these sections between the Bruce Highway and D’Aguilar Highway overpass for a total cost of $28.8 million (2018-19 $8 million)

–     Continue upgrades to improve access to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital for a total cost of $22 million (2018-19 $4.8 million) with works starting on a third package to improve capacity at Nicklin Way between Main Drive and Waterview Street and provide access from Production Avenue to Kawana Way

–     Caboolture Connection Road Route Safety Strategy, continue safety improvements along various locations on Caboolture Connection Road between the Bruce Highway and D’Aguilar Highway for a total cost of $7.6 million (2018-19 $3.7 million)

“We are also providing $3.7 million in 2018-19 through the 50:50 Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme (TIDS) to support councils to develop the local transport infrastructure they need,” he said.

Mr Bailey said this budget showed the Palaszczuk Government’s ongoing commitment to delivering key infrastructure and creating jobs for the people of Queensland.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s investment in roads, rail, marine, passenger transport and active transport infrastructure is estimated to support about 19,200 direct jobs, on average, over the life of the four-year program,” he said.


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‘Bottleneck’ roundabout near new university site to get $30 million upgrade



'Bottleneck' roundabout near new university site to get $30 million upgrade

The Petrie roundabout connecting Gympie Road, Dayboro Road and Anzac Avenue.

Photo: Google Maps

A “bottleneck” roundabout in the Moreton Bay region that has left motorists “fed up for many, many years” will be given a $30 million upgrade having been allocated funding in the upcoming state budget.

Fairfax Media can reveal the state government will announce on Monday the Petrie roundabout will be replaced by a reconfigured T-intersection featuring traffic lights, with work set to begin in 2020.

However, the Opposition Leader said the roundabout upgrades needed to be finished by 2020 because the new University of Sunshine Coast campus will open at the start of that year.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said an extra $22.5 million will be set aside in the state budget, set to be delivered on June 12, in addition to $7.5 million already committed.

Mr Bailey said the installation of traffic lights would improve traffic movements at the intersection and address local population growth.

“We are fixing the bottleneck at the Petrie roundabout where Anzac Avenue, Dayboro Road and Gympie Road meet,” Mr Bailey said.

“A preferred option was developed in 2016, which included replacing the roundabout with signals at a reconfigured T-intersection.”

However, LNP leader Deb Frecklington said the Palaszczuk government had missed the boat.

“The Palaszczuk government is trying to con the people of Pine Rivers by announcing projects they have no intention of building for years.

“This key road needs to be upgraded in time for the new university campus opening in 2020, but that won’t happen under Annastacia Palaszczuk.

“It’s not good enough that Pine Rivers locals have to wait another two years for work to even begin … Labor’s had almost three years to plan for this upgrade and they’ve done nothing.

“If Labor is serious about busting congestion and planning for the future, this upgrade needs to be fast-tracked in the upcoming budget.”

Member for Kurwongbah Shane King said locals would be able to have their say on the project.

“The community will have an opportunity to provide input during the detailed design phase, which is expected to be completed in 2019,” Mr King said.

“Importantly, this project will improve safety and connectivity in Petrie and reduce delays during peak periods. It will also reduce traffic queues and crash risk.”

RACQ transport, traffic and safety engineer Greg Miszkowycz welcomed the announcement and said drivers had nominated the Petrie roundabout on previous red-spot surveys, which were designed to identify stretches of road which needed to be prioritised for improvement work.

“This location has a history of congestion,” he said.

“Motorists have been fed up of the roundabout for many, many years.

“T-intersections are usually much safer for pedestrians and cyclists compared to roundabouts.

“This will hopefully go a long way to reducing the congestion and frustration for motorists.

“The new university campus will attract a greater number of vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists so these upgrades should ensure all road users can safely and efficiently access these new facilities.”

Mr King said the upgrade would ultimately benefit the thousands of students expected to attend the new University of the Sunshine Coast campus.

“The former Petrie paper mill site and surrounding suburbs have been declared a priority development area by the Palaszczuk government,” he said.

“(This) is expected to deliver up to 10,000 university student placements, 6000 ongoing jobs and $950 million in economic benefit.”

Mr Bailey said further investigations into land requirements and consultation with key stakeholders, Moreton Bay Regional Council as well as directly affected residents and businesses would continue.


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