The Moggill Ferry when it was closed by flooding.
The Moggill Ferry when it was closed by flooding. Sarah Harvey

MP calls for ferry alternative

IT'S high time to scrap the Moggill Ferry and replace it with a bridge, Member for Ipswich West Wayne Wendt says.

The issue ebbs and flows but came to the fore during the floods in January when Colleges Crossing was put out of action.

"At the time the option was to increase the height of Colleges Crossing to where it is 400 to 500m wide," Mr Wendt said yesterday.

"That would be extremely expensive for something that is only out of action very rarely."

Since the floods, the Transport and Main Roads Department has been looking at options to improve crossings at the Moggill Ferry and Colleges Crossing.

A department spokesman said several broader concepts had been discounted and "we will now look at a number of others to investigate their feasibility".

"Technical feasibility, cost, community impact and environmental impacts are being taken into consideration during these investigations," the spokesman said.

"At the end of the study next year, the findings will be presented to the State Government for consideration."

Mr Wendt said he didn't want to pre-empt the study's findings, but time was well and truly up for the old ferry across the Brisbane River.

"In time that's got to happen," he said.

"In the year 2011 we're still using a ferry that stops when it's dark and has to be stopped to be serviced.

"It's a pretty inefficient way of getting cars from one side of the river to the other.

"I've seen figures of $50 to $100 million where you could replace the Moggill Ferry.

"If it was the same cost to raise Colleges Crossing or replace the Moggill Ferry with a bridge, I'd prefer that.

"It would also provide easier access between Ipswich and Brisbane and it would solve a lot of transport issues as well."

The bridge at Colleges Crossing was closed from mid-December into January due to heavy rain and water releases from Wivenhoe Dam.

The bridge was under about 10m of water at the flood's peak.

Further upstream, the Mt Crosby Weir crossing on Allawah Road was also damaged.

Mr Wendt said Allawah Road would be moved and sealed as access to the new Blackwall substation near the Mt Crosby water treatment plant.