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Russell Island’s ferry terminal officially opens

In Queensland, the new Russell Island ferry terminal has officially opened, marking another significant milestone for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands Ferry Terminals Upgrade project.

The modern design of the new Russell Island ferry terminal provides much-needed safety improvements for ferry customers and recreational boaties.

Ferry customers will now benefit from the larger, accessible pontoon and waiting areas.

Russell Island’s dual berthing pontoon has allowed Translink’s passenger ferries to use the outer berth (anticlockwise) towards Lamb Island, and the inner berth (clockwise) towards Redland Bay Marina.

This will assist with managing the passenger ferry timetable, now and into the future.

The four new passenger ferry terminals for Russell, Macleay, Lamb and Karragarra islands boast vast improvements including:

  • larger waiting areas with more seating
  • improved weather protection
  • wider gangways and enhanced circulation spaces
  • new amenities blocks (Russell and Macleay islands only) and new landside shelters
  • security cameras to improve passenger safety
  • meeting the requirements of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002
  • larger pontoons to accommodate future passenger growth
  • smart lighting and remote lighting control systems
  • digital timetable information
  • unique Quandamooka artwork on screening and storyboards
  • new and repurposed existing jetty and gangway elements for recreational boating and fishing.

Another significant milestone for the overall project also took place this week (31 May) with the operational switchover for ferry passengers to use the new Macleay Island terminal.

Upcoming milestones planned for June include the pontoon float-outs for Karragarra and Lamb islands.

The Southern Moreton Bay Islands Ferry Terminals Upgrade project is a jointly funded $48.6 million project, with the Queensland Government contributing $31.5 million and Redland City Council contributing $17.1 million.

There are no changes to Translink’s SMBI ferry timetable with services operating at Russell Island as normal and viewable at Southern Moreton Bay Island Ferry | Translink

Member for Redlands, Kim Richards said “Today is a fantastic day for the Redlands community, with the official grand opening of the Russell Island ferry terminal, the first of four new bay island terminals to be delivered.

“A striking feature of the new terminals catching everyone’s eye is the Quandamooka artwork on the screening, giving a unique identity to each island and really bringing the facilities to life.

“The contractor, The Jetty Specialist, is working extremely hard to deliver the overall project under some very challenging conditions and the quality of the work continues to impress.

“Locals and visitors to the island can now use the dedicated recreational boating pontoon for fishing and mooring, keeping in mind that the commercial and recreational users are now separated – the ferry terminal pontoon is only for use by the ferries.

“I’m proud to be part of a government that delivers city-shaping infrastructure and opportunities like this for locals and visitors.

“Construction has really ramped up on Macleay, Lamb and Karragarra Islands, with overall completion on track for mid-2023.”

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said “The Palaszczuk Government is prioritising better infrastructure and services all over Queensland, assisting communities where it’s needed most.

“Planning for the SMBI ferry terminal project has been underway since 2014. Nine years of planning, consultation, design, and construction phases all coming to fruition in 2023.

“I am pleased to say the design life of the new infrastructure is 50 years which will provide ongoing benefits for the bay islands well into the future.

“This project is a great example of collaboration between the state government and local government working together with local communities to deliver vital infrastructure for Queenslanders.”

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said The official opening of the Russell Island ferry terminal marks a momentous achievement in the largest infrastructure investment yet brought to our Southern Moreton Bay Islands.

The biggest of the four islands’ ferry terminals, the Russell Island ferry terminal is representative of the entire project, which nears its completion after years of planning, community consultation and at times challenging construction.

Its unveiling comes as our SMBI make great strides in popularity, with visitors and residents travelling from near and far to enjoy a truly unique lifestyle and experience.

In addition to its vast improvement in amenity and service, the Russell Island ferry terminal is notable for combining future-proofed utility with personalised design.

Thorough community consultation ensured residents played a critical role in choosing the colour scheme, and close work with Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) allowed for celebration of the island’s rich Indigenous history and art.

Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards said The Southern Moreton Bay Islands Ferry Terminals Upgrade project is testament to an effective partnership between local and state government.

Together with Redland City Council’s $17.1 million investment, Council will maintain this impressive facility, along with those soon to come online at Karragarra, Lamb and Macleay islands, going forward.

The Russell Island ferry terminal caters to residents and visitors like never before and heralds a dynamic shift in the island’s development.

Of note is its Australian Standard disability access, its splendid build quality and the many years of service it will provide to our naturally stunning city.

I am also heartened by the pride Council and TMR have had in bringing this project to life and trust the community will experience a likewise sentiment in its use and care.