State’s $5.5m Straddie ‘game changer’
Brisbane's hugely popular Howard Smith Wharves will have three new pontoons added to help boost tourism and construction industries post-COVID-19.
The state government committed $5.5 million to the build which will allow people to eat or drink at the wharf before jumping on a boat to Moreton Bay and be relaxing on one of the islands within 40 minutes.
The river terminal at Fortitude Valley will be open to commercial tour operators as a pick-up and drop off point and would support up to 6000 passengers a day.
Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the funding, announced on Saturday, aided the government's strategy to promote the city's links with Moreton Bay.
"It's an absolute game changer," Ms Jones said.
"River to Bay tourism will be crucial for this region in coming years. That's why we're investing in infrastructure now to create more tourism jobs in the southeast into the future
"We're forging on with major projects like this because we know that new infrastructure is vital to Queensland's economic recovery."
The Queensland Government anticipates the facility will attract 294,000 overseas visitors, spending $9.2 million a year, once its operational.
"In addition, about 64,000 domestic visitors are estimated to use the terminal spending $3.8 million a year," it said in a statement."
About seven construction and 23 operational jobs will be created.
HSW chief executive Luke Fraser said more than 1000 jobs had been created since it opened and the terminal project would be the catalyst to create many more.
"Never has there been a more important time to invest in the future of Queensland tourism," he said.
"With an exciting pipeline of investment from critical infrastructure through to significant tourism projects, the new commercial pontoons will only further enhance our river city appeal.
"It's incredible to see this vision of ours coming to life and creating a new way to come and go from the wharves, and a new hub for tourism boats spurring on further investment in new tourism products."
Originally published as State's $5.5m Straddie 'game changer'