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Barge bid update, Scarborough Masterplan announced

Posted: 11am 03 Sep 2020

A long-term vision for the Redcliffe peninsula’s bustling northern marine precinct has been announced, with the State Government today locking in funding for a masterplan and a renewed expressions of interest process for a Moreton Island barge.

State Member for Redcliffe Yvette D’Ath and Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey joined Mayor Peter Flannery, Councillor Sandra Ruck and business leaders at Scarborough Boat Harbour to announce $400,000 to develop and work with the community on a masterplan for the harbour.

The planning work is due to start by the end of the year.

They also announced a new Expression of Interest (EOI) will be launched later this month to expand the search for a barge service between the Redcliffe peninsula and Moreton Island, looking at proposals for possible landing sites beyond the harbour.

Why this is happening?

“Businesses and the community tell me they want Redcliffe to become a key hub for Australia’s $74 billion marine industry,” Ms D’Ath says.

“The masterplan will be developed with the community to make sure the harbour remains a bustling precinct for business and recreation, maintaining good community access, and I look forward to making sure everyone is involved as we do that planning.

“I’m proud we’ve delivered on our commitment to complete a business case, and that our $4 million remains on the table to deliver a commercially-viable service.

“While the initial process didn’t find a viable commercial opportunity at this location, we know there is still strong interest to potentially operated it from other sites on the peninsula. That’s why I’ve asked the Minister and his department to expand the EOI process to see what opportunities might be available for other sites.”

How long will the EOI take?

The new EOI process will begin from September 14 and run for three weeks. If expressions of interest are received, the next step will be to investigate potential opportunities further with interested parties.

Minister Bailey says he hopes there will be an update on the process in the next few months.

“The EOI process is starting in the next couple of weeks. It will depend a bit on the content and how much information is put forward, but we’re very keen to do that as quickly as we can,” he says.

Ms D’Ath says the new EOI process will allow for any proposals to operate from the peninsula.

“I’m confident that we will see great proposals coming forward and we’ll hear more about that in the near future. It is I think a fantastic initiative and whether the barge operates from this site or not, we know whatever happens on the Peninsula … it will all feed into each other. It will support our local economy.”

Scarborough Masterplan

Ms D’Ath and Minister Bailey are keen to work with Moreton Bay Regional Council, Moreton Bay Region Industry and Tourism (MBRIT), residents, businesses and the marine industry to come up with a plan that will help the precinct realise its potential.

“We know there’s been a desire in this area for some time to have a longer term vision and not just have sporadic developments along Scarborough,” Ms D’Ath says.

“We talked about it when we initially announced the $4 million for the barge that we wanted it to be part of a more holistic approach of benefiting the whole community and so I think a masterplan is absolutely fantastic... $400,000 is real money for a real masterplan for the Scarborough Harbour.”

Positive reaction

Both announcements have been welcomed by Moreton Bay Regional Council, Moreton Bay Region Industry and Tourism (MBRIT) and other business leaders.

Mayor Peter Flannery says a masterplan for Scarborough is an exciting prospect.

“It gives us the ability to look at a fresh sheet and fresh opportunities to see how we want this to develop in the future with input from the industry, commerce groups, council, businesses as well and from government. Creating jobs is a big thing – through the marine industry but also tourism and economic benefits we can have from that tourism role,” Mayor Flannery says.

“The EOI is a fantastic idea because it takes in that bigger, broader picture of the peninsula. Who knows, there may be other opportunities out there as well that are better than having a location from here? We look forward to being part of the process.”

MBRIT CEO Shane Newcombe says both announcements are great news for the whole region, not just the Redcliffe Peninsula.

“A barge service has the potential to attract more tourists to our part of the world, giving them the opportunity to not only discover Moreton Island and the Redcliffe Peninsula, but the region’s hinterland and bayside gems all the way up the coast,” Mr Newcombe says.

“We look part of being part of the Scarborough masterplan process and helping the precinct realise its potential, for not only tourism operators but the broader business community. The opportunities are exciting.”

Redcliffe Peninsula Chamber of commerce president Brad Flynn says he knows the business community will be grateful.

“I’m really glad they’re looking at other sites (for the barge), other than the north arm because we think that would be a wasted opportunity to put just a barge out there. Congratulations for opening it up to other parts as well,” he told the Minister.

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