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3 June, 2021

Opening a world of opportunity for Yarrabah

WORKS on the much-anticipated Yarrabah jetty project have commenced, bringing opportunities for increased tourism and commuter services to Australia’s largest indigenous community.

By Peter McCullagh

The 165-metre-long jetty will be built at Gribble Point, a site chosen in consultation with Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council and local Traditional Owners.

Once completed the jetty will be capabale of providing regular ferry services between and Cairns and Yarrabah.

As yet there are no operators for the 12km sea journey, however Transport and Main Roads will go through an Experssion of Interest process for certified ferry operators when appropiate.

Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt has worked closely with both council and traditional owners, Gunggandji Aboriginal Corporation throughout the  design and planning stage.

“The site at Gribble Point is immediately beside the boat ramp and very close to the Yarrabah township.

In consultation with the local community, the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) amended the initial concept design to include a floating pontoon.

Mr Pitt said that the addition of a floating pontoon, which will move up and down with the tide, will provide even more capacity for vessel berthing than a fixed gangway and platform.

“This provides an opportunity for locals to use the jetty to access dinghies moored to the rear of the pontoon.

“When complete, the new jetty will be a great asset for the community and present new transport, tourism and economic opportunities.”

Mr Pitt said there would be opportunities for local participation in the project.

“The jetty will be built by Brady Marine and Civil with construction expected to be complete late 2021, weather permitting.

“In consultation with Council and Traditional Owners, and Brady Marine and Civil, TMR have developed a strategy to provide local residents with economic and job opportunities during construction,” he said.

“Through the project, TMR will offer employment and local business opportunities, including sea and land monitoring, equipment hire and locally produced art installations.”

Mr Pitt said the jetty was part of an ongoing $11.5 million infrastructure project for the Yarrabah community, including a new shelter and toilet facilities.

Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council Mayor Ross Andrews said that the community is pleased to see commencement of the jetty project.

“The Yarrabah jetty is one of the most important and exciting infrastructure projects ever commenced for the community.

“The Council is pleased to have completed more than $516,000 of land-based works which allow for the next phase of construction to begin.

“Not only will this project support local employment opportunities during the construction phase, but the legacy of providing a viable transport option directly to the Cairns CBD will create access to employment and study opportunities for years to come”.

Ms Kristen Pearson, Chairperson, Gunggandji Prescribed Body Corporate Aboriginal Corporation also welcomed the commencement of works.

“The Yarrabah Jetty will provide enormous opportunities for the community to access employment and training in Cairns.

“Once complete, the jetty will complement significant community events like the Yarrabah Music and Cultural Festival, and enhance the community’s tourism offerings, she said.

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