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New River Terminal for Hamilton?

Brisbane CityCat, Bretts Wharf, Hamilton 18 March 2009

Hamilton could be the home of a new marine terminal recommended for the Brisbane River, planned to allow easier access to Moreton Bay for local and international tourists.

Moreton Bay contains the world's largest population of bottle-nosed dolphins, as well as migrating humpback whales, a huge diversity of fish species and five different species of sea turtles.

A study commissioned by Invest Brisbane suggests the lack of use of the bay could be addressed by a new terminal near the river mouth for faster, easier access.

Feedback from industry stakeholders and agencies suggests that land at Northshore Hamilton could be a suitable location. Another option is an area at Holt St, Pinkenba.

The eventual site will need vessel-berthing pontoons, along with the usual car parks and drop-off zones that such a facility would require. A ticket sales and tourist information centre would also be required.

Brisbane's Lord Mayor, Campbell Newman, considers the project a strategic one for the city.

"It's about opening up Moreton Bay and the islands to tourists both in the short and long term," Cr Newman said yesterday.

"It's about providing an opportunity to get people to enjoy the bay and, in this current economic climate, will provide a lot of jobs in the tourism industry."

John Aitken, Brisbane Marketing's chief executive, says the Brisbane Moreton Bay Terminal Study was an important part of a long-term vision to connect the CBD to the coastline.

"While the study identified two preferred sites, we will now begin the process of preparing a business case to review and assess the commercial viability of both sites," Mr Aitken said.

"It will be the land owners, the potential investors in conjunction with the authorities who will decide where and when the project proceeds."

Such a facility toward the mouth of Brisbane River will help tourists without a private vehicle, or locals unable or unwilling to use public transport system, according to the study.

An added benefit of the Hamilton location is the close proximity to the Brisbane international and domestic airports.

Consultants considered the Northshore site to be the best location for providing Brisbane with easy access to the bay and islands.

Also suggested by the study is a fast marine connection, similar to the CityCat, for a link between Brisbane's CBD and the terminal.

The next step is for Invest Brisbane to produce feasibility studies and a business case.

For more information visit investbrisbane.com.au