The Palaszczuk Government will partner with a Queensland company to build a series of jet boats to boost visitor numbers to Moreton Bay and generate millions for the local tourism industry.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones today announced the government would partner with Australian Jet Boats Pty Ltd in a $2.1 million project to create ‘Moreton Bay day adventures’ set to start early next year.
Ms Jones said the four jet boats would be built in Brisbane – creating six jobs during construction and 15 jobs once the service is up and running.
“We’re delivering new tourism infrastructure that we know will create jobs for locals and generate millions for the tourism industry,” she said.
“By promoting connectivity with Brisbane via the River, there are huge opportunities to grow the tourism industry in Moreton Bay – that’s what today’s announcement is all about.”
Once fully operational in mid-2020 this service will attract an extra 62,000 visitors a year and contribute up to $6 million in visitor expenditure to the region per annum.
Ms Jones said each fast tour boat, carrying up to 30 people, would transport visitors to Moreton Bay where they would be able to learn about Brisbane’s colonial past on St Helena Island, bushwalk on Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) and snorkel the Tangalooma Wrecks.
The Minister revealed the fast tour boats would pick up passengers from various departure points like the newly constructed Queen’s Wharf terminal, the Cruise Ship Terminal at Portside, Howard Smith Wharves and other River Access Hub Pontoons.
“The next generation of visitors want to experience something they can’t get anywhere else,” she said.
“No matter who you are or where you’re from – there’s something great to experience at Moreton Bay.
“You’ll be able to go shopping at Queen’s Wharf or have a few drinks at Howard Smith Wharves. Then with less than an hour and a half’s ride on a jet boat you’ll be able to experience one of the most beautiful island ecosystems on the planet. This is a huge selling point.”
Australian Jet Boats director Anthony Stanton said the fleet of four fast tour boats will be built right here in Brisbane and be put straight to work from the factory floor.
“Named in the Jandai language after local marine animals, the state-of-the-art boats will ply the Brisbane River and Moreton Bay, linking visitors and locals alike to the fantastic range of wonders on our doorstep,” he said.
“Our project will ‘connect the dots’ and make the waters of Moreton Bay a seamlessly accessible ‘must do’ attraction for any visit to southeast Queensland.
“Our hope is that our boats will become an instrument for us to showcase the story of the bay, its traditional owners and newer settlers.
“Each fast tour boat, which can travel up to 45 knots and will take about 75-90 minutes from Brisbane CBD to the islands, will be distinctive in a bright design inspired by the works of Traditional artists.
“Many tourists arrive in Brisbane and use the city as a stepping stone to other Queensland destinations. We hope by linking the city’s key accommodation areas to the wonders of the Bay, we can keep these visitors here a little longer.”