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More than 30 inner-city boat moorings on the Brisbane River will be removed by Brisbane City Council to make way for the Kangaroo Point Green Bridge.
The entire Gardens Point Harbour moorings will be removed from March, ending a long tradition of houseboats and visitors mooring on the river at the City Botanic Gardens.
Brisbane City Council's public and active transport spokesman Ryan Murphy said the moorings had to be removed to ensure safe construction on the $190 million Kangaroo Point Green Bridge close by.
"There are 31 moorings at this site however only 19 are currently occupied," Cr Murphy said.
"These moorings were originally designed for short-term moorings for visitors to our city."
In 2018, the council removed 23 moorings at the site to make way for a recreational mooring hub, which will not be affected by the bridge construction.
'Character and charm' removed
Greens councillor Jonathan Sri, who lives on a houseboat himself, said the removal of the harbour was "fundamentally a social justice issue" as many people moored long-term at the site could not afford rising house prices.
"Boaties are a big part of the character and charm of the river," Cr Sri said.
"It would be a shame if the waterway gentrifies in the same way as the land, and the entire riverfront becomes sanitised, monotonous, cookie-cutter copies of Howard Smith Wharves."
Boaties moored at Gardens Point pay the council $70 weekly and must reapply every three months for permission to moor, with access to lockers and other facilities on-shore managed by the Stamford Plaza Hotel.
Those facilities will also close in March.
Cr Murphy said the council was working with vessel owners who were using the moorings and fees for those who wanted to stay until March 31 next year would be waived.
"A number of vessels have already departed the moorings or found alternative locations," Cr Murphy said.
"We understand some mooring occupants may have unique circumstances and council officers have been engaging with vessel owners to discuss their individual situation."
Opposition deputy leader Kara Cook said the council had a duty to ensure there was a variety of housing options in the city.
"Houseboats are one of those options and inner-city permanent moorings are incredibly rare," Cr Cook said.
"The LNP council must provide new permanent moorings in a nearby location to ensure not only that these residents are not displaced but also that a broad range of inner-city housing options remains."
Bridge construction starts this year
Moorings at Breakfast Creek, the site of a second green bridge, will not be affected by construction.
Cr Murphy said the "future use of the area" at Garden Point Harbour would be "considered in consultation with the Queensland government" once construction on the Kangaroo Point bridge was completed.
Construction on the bridge begins later this year and is expected to be completed in 2023.SOURCE: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-08-11/brisbane-river-moorings-removed/100365802