42-Berth Marina Planned for Commercial and Tourist Boats in Murarrie

A 42-berth marina will be built near the Gateway Bridge, on the Brisbane River, at Raptis Seafoods in Murarrie. This marina will support maritime tourism by offering overnight anchoring for business and tourist boats as part of the Growing Future Tourism strategy.

Once built, the marina will provide a much-needed docking option for Brisbane’s maritime tourism operators, especially after recent obstacles like the 2022 floods and waterfront developments. However, it is not meant to be a pick-up and drop-off location for tourists. 

With construction clearances pending, the marina is anticipated to open in April 2025.

Tourism Initiatives

According to projections, the marina will bring in $66.6 million in private investment from the $15 million the Queensland government has allocated to five tourism initiatives. This financing will maintain 669 ongoing operational functions and about 313 jobs during planning and construction. The combined effect of these developments is anticipated to bring in over 216,000 extra tourists per year, translating into an extra $63 million in spending. The projects are expected to be finished by June 2026.

This effort includes a 50-meter jetty at Lindeman Island Resort, eco-cabins at Australia Zoo’s Crocodile Hunter Lodge, and a marine tourist hub at Townsville’s Flinders Street Wharves.

Growing Future Tourism, QLD QLD Dept of Tourism & Sport
Photo Credit: QLD Dept of Tourism & Sport

Michael Healy, the Minister of Tourism, highlighted the marina’s role in giving river tourist companies a secure foundation and commended Raptis and the Queensland Government for their cooperation. He also emphasised the Growing Future Tourism program’s contribution to developing fresh travel alternatives in the area.

The CEO and spokesperson for Raptis Investments, Tim Beirne, highlighted the importance of the marina’s project in boosting local tourism and stated the company’s excitement about obtaining money for it. In line with the rising demand for coastal and aquatic experiences, he highlighted that repurposing Raptis Seafoods wharves would provide security for home porting, encourage investment, and generate new job possibilities in the tourism sector. 

About Raptis

In the 1930s, Arthur Raptis Sr., a migrant labourer, discovered his calling in fishing. In the 1950s, after relocating to Adelaide, his wife Anna started a fish and chip store. Their desire to succeed as entrepreneurs drove them to fillet their catch for nearby stores. Their daughter and four sons joined in, growing the company into retail and wholesale seafood.

A. Raptis and Sons Pty Ltd (Raptis) is one of the biggest privately held fishing firms in Australia today. Raptis is a local and international supplier of high-quality seafood products, emphasising responsible fishing practices. Australia’s fish populations will flourish for future generations thanks to their dedication to sustainable techniques. From the ocean to the plate, Raptis maintains premium seafood by utilising technology.

Published 18-March-2024

East Village Development Sparks Debate Over Views and Traffic

Residents are split over plans for a nine-storey commercial tower as part of the $1 billion East Village development in Cannon Hill, with some fearing it could ruin skyline views and worsen traffic and others thinking it would be great for the area.

Read: Cannon Hill’s Skyline Set for Transformation with Proposed Nine-Storey Office Tower

The office building, designed by architectural firm Blight Rayner, is the latest stage of developer Anthony John Group’s (AJG) massive urban renewal project on the former CSIRO site at the corner of Wynnum and Creek Roads.

Last year, Brisbane City Council asked the developers to reduce the height by one level. However, AJG responded saying this was not feasible for the prospective tenant.

East Village aerial view (Photo credit: Anthony John Group)

When complete, East Village will transform Cannon Hill into a vibrant hub with retail, dining, cinemas, apartments and a hotel. The proposed development aims to provide an activated streetscape frontage to Wynnum Road. 

There would be seven levels of contemporary office spaces and landscaping is incorporated throughout the design. Around 71 bicycle parking spaces and secure end of trip facilities are also included. 

Photo credit: Blight Rayner

Although some welcomed the tower as progress, others argued nine levels was too tall and exceeded neighbourhood plan allowances.

Locals also raised concerns over increased congestion on Wynnum and Creek Roads. “Sounds like a great plan; the suburb is ideally placed for increased density. My only concerns arethe impact on traffic and ensuring there is sufficient car parking on site. Overall, a great development that may offer diversity in how we work and live,” one submission read.

East village
Subject site (Photo credit: Google Street View)

“No other buildings in the area are at that height and will shadow over neighbouring apartments and road,” said another resident.

AJG’s planning firm Place Design Group said surrounding buildings ranged from five to seven storeys, similar in scale and form. They added Council had previously indicated support for eight levels, with the extra ninth accommodating the slope. Traffic experts said there would be no direct Wynnum Road access.

The $1 billion East Village project aims to revitalise the former industrial site into a bustling community precinct. However, the latest commercial tower has left residents torn over its impact.

Read: Cannon Hill Home Changes Hands After 80 Years of Family History

Published 21-February-2024 

Junction Road Bike Lanes Upgrade Faces Opposition From Cycling Groups

Local officials are moving ahead with plans to upgrade the bike lanes along Junction Road, but the design changes are receiving disapproval from some cycling advocates.

Read: Safety Concern Grows at a Morningside Intersection

The upgrades between Baringa Street and Barwon St in Morningside will install dedicated, single direction bike lanes on both sides of the road with buffer zones between parked cars and the traffic lane. Brisbane City Council says the design balances safety and access for all road users whilst minimising parking loss and construction impacts.

However, cycling groups like East BUG Inc and Space4Cycling BNE argued the city should revert to earlier plans that placed the bike lanes next to the kerb with greater separation from traffic. 

Design 1 (Photo credit: Brisbane City Council)

The original design proposed protected bike lanes installed next to the kerb, with a buffer of on-street parking between cyclists and moving traffic. This aligns closely with what the local community advocated for – infrastructure that feels safe and comfortable enough for children to ride to school. 

Photo credit: BCC

Space4Cycling BNE believes separating bikes and e-scooters from both pedestrians and cars helps promote active transport whilst minimising conflict points. Residents would still enjoy easy, convenient parking without having to cross the bike lane. Even bin collection remains simple, with room along the kerb to place bins for pickup clear of parked vehicles.

Biking advocacy groups also noted that few residents were aware of the last-minute switch to the parking-adjacent layout.

The new design selected by Council, on the other hand, places parking spaces next to the kerb with the bike lane sandwiched between parked cars and moving traffic. 

New project plan (Photo credit: BCC)

According to advocacy groups, this makes parking more difficult, as drivers must cross over the bike lane to pull in and out of spaces. It also allegedly creates new hazards, with the risk of an open car door colliding with a passing cyclist and potentially causing serious injury or death. 

City Transport Chair Cr Ryan Murphy defends the current design, saying further risk assessment found alternatives less safe for cyclists, pedestrians, and others accessing the road. He notes the selected plan offers the best value whilst still improving bike infrastructure.

Read: Locals Look to Lift Up Asquith Street Shops in Morningside

Cycling groups argue for revisiting earlier designs they believe provide greater separation and safety for bike lanes, though officials say the current plan already balances accessibility and safety effectively. 

With construction underway, major design changes appear improbable despite some community members advocating for more public input on bike infrastructure plans. Local officials maintain the upgrades will increase sustainable transport options for Junction Rd users of all types.

Published 8-February-2024 

Murarrie Family Battling Toddler’s Leukemia with Community Support

A Murarrie family has experienced a heartwarming demonstration of community support as their 15-month-old son, Archie Asher, faces a critical battle against Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. Unfortunately, Archie’s condition has taken a devastating turn, requiring additional medical intervention in his ongoing fight against this disease.

Archie’s ordeal began in March 2023, when he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) at just five months old.

Following an intense regimen of chemotherapy and a subsequent period of remission, the Asher family’s hopes were dashed with news of the leukemia’s return in late January 2024. The toddler’s fight against cancer now hinges on additional rounds of chemotherapy and a potentially life-saving bone marrow transplant from his 4-year-old sister, Alani, who tested as a compatible donor.

Murarrie Family Archie Asher AML
Photo Credit: CrLucyCollier/Facebook

The family’s plight has spurred Cr Lucy Collier of Morningside to call upon the local community for support. 

The Ashers are facing significant emotional and financial strain, with Archie’s mother, Anita, taking extended leave from work to be by her son’s side in the hospital, leaving the family reliant on a single income during this challenging time.

Murarrie Family Archie Asher AML
Photo Credit: CrLucyCollier/Facebook

Community members are encouraged to contribute in various ways, including donating to the Asher family’s GoFundMe page, providing meal vouchers, and dropping off non-perishable food items at Ms Collier’s office in Bulimba. These acts of kindness are crucial in easing the family’s burden and enabling them to focus on Archie’s recovery.

To date, the Asher family has received over 370 cash donations amounting to nearly $40,000. 

“Frustratingly, he’s so happy and himself at home you wouldn’t even think he’s sick. Thank you to all for your words of support, messages and donations. We are shells of ourselves these days and trying to keep it together, you are all rallying behind us and we can’t thank you enough,” Anita wrote in an update to the fundraiser. 

Published 2-Feb-2024

Safety Concern Grows at a Morningside Intersection

Morningside is cherished by its residents for its community spirit and idyllic charm but amidst this tranquillity are some perilous intersections that have long been a cause for concern. At the forefront of these worries stands the intersection of Barton and Hawthorne Roads, a crucial thoroughfare that witnesses a steady flow of motorists and pedestrians, especially during peak hours. 

Located in proximity to local corner stores, cafes, and schools, this intersection has become the centre of apprehension due to its alarming rate of incidents, injuries, and near-misses.

In response to these pressing safety concerns, Cr Lucy Collier, representing the Morningside Ward, has been a vocal advocate for urgent improvements. But the catalyst for change came from a local mother and resident, Ashleigh Gray. 

Recognising the gravity of the situation and motivated by a genuine desire to enhance the safety of her community, Ms Gray collaborated with Ms Collier to initiate a petition. This heartfelt effort garnered the support of over 200 concerned neighbours and community members, all rallying behind the common goal of making their streets safer.

As a resident and parent, Ms Gray has first-hand experience navigating the challenges posed by the Hawthorne and Barton Road intersections. She pointed out that whilst there may be other intersections in the community that require upgrades, this particular one is an integral part of her daily life. 

As the population of Morningside continues to grow, and housing becomes denser, she firmly believes that infrastructure must evolve to ensure the safety of all residents, especially children.

A pedestrian injury at the intersection served as a wake-up call for the mum. Determined not to let negligence be the reason for potential tragedies, she contacted Ms Collier. This marked the inception of their collaborative effort, leading to the creation of the petition that received more than 250 signatures.

Recently, Ms Gray had the opportunity to address a Brisbane City Council meeting as a public participant. She described the experience as an invaluable chance to voice her community’s concerns. 

In a heartening turn of events, Brisbane City Council has confirmed, in their final meeting of 2023, that they will review the safety of the Hawthorne and Barton Road intersection.

Published 29-Dec-2023

Melbourne Coffee Pioneer ST ALi Sets Up Shop in Morningside

When it comes to specialty coffee in Australia, ST ALi was one of the first pioneers that helped define and shape the modern industry. Now, after years of supplying beans to Queensland’s best cafes, ST ALi has officially opened its first Brisbane outpost located in an industrial space in Morningside.

Read: Locals Look to Lift Up Asquith Street Shops in Morningside

Since opening its first cafe in Melbourne in 2005, ST ALi has led the way in direct relationships with farmers, in-house roasting, expert barista training and top-notch hospitality.

Now, their new space (previously Dramanti Artisan Roaster) houses a roasting operation, espresso bar and upstairs training area to help ST ALi carve out an even bigger foothold in a market it sees major potential for growth in.

Photo credit: st_ali/Instagram 

According to the CEO Lachlan Ward, Southeast Queensland has shown the fastest expansion out of any region for the business, which he is extremely proud of. He expects Queensland to surpass New South Wales as ST ALi’s second largest market behind Victoria within the next year.

Photo credit: Daniel Larder-begley/Google Maps

The Morningside warehouse location will enable them to not only improve service for its over 50 existing cafe customers in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, but also create a retail-style space for coffee enthusiasts to connect with the brand.

Photo credit: Daniel Larder-begley/Google Maps 

The CEO explained that cafes that use their beans are like showrooms for the product, but interstate it’s hard to create those touchpoints, so a customer-facing venue is key.

Whilst initially focusing on branding and aesthetics, future plans include upgrading the coffee bar and adding a small kitchen. However, the Morningside space will maintain an industrial warehouse atmosphere on purpose.

Photo credit: st_ali/Instagram 

The new location will also have a very different vibe than their full-scale Melbourne cafes. Here the focus is more on a stripped down coffee education experience to support wholesale customers.

Read: Fitness Station at Bill Cash Memorial Park Offers Enhanced Workout Experience

With one of Australia’s pioneering coffee companies now established in Brisbane, expect ongoing uplift in standards and quality across the local café scene. ST ALi has a proven track record of advancing specialty coffee, and there’s no reason to believe they will not continue that legacy in Queensland.

Published 23-December-2023 

Morningside Business Faces Rising Insolvency Ahead of Christmas: A Challenging Economic Landscape

Businesses are facing a critical period as Christmas approaches, with insolvencies in Queensland rising by nearly 19 per cent in November. This increase signals a challenging economic environment, especially for sectors such as construction and food services.

Morningside’s Struggling Businesses

In Morningside, companies like 365 Construction Services recently announced their entry into voluntary liquidation. The company, part of the Morningside-based 365 Services Group and provided services like painting and landscaping, was forced into liquidation due to challenging economic conditions.

All employees, including the director, are owed entitlements, reflecting the depth of the crisis. The liquidator, Johnathan McLeod, noted that the director cited the economic downturn as the primary reason for the company’s failure.

The broader impact on the 365 Services Group, which includes cleaning, painting, landscaping, and property maintenance services, remains uncertain. The group’s website has been shut down.

Industry-Wide Observations and Predictions

Deloitte Australia’s lead partner of Queensland Restructuring Services, Richard Hughes, highlighted the increasing trend of insolvency numbers, which are now aligning with pre-Covid levels. 

Photo Credit: Unsplash

The upcoming Christmas season is viewed as a pivotal time for businesses, with the outcome potentially shaping the economic landscape for the early months of 2024. Mr Hughes emphasised the impact of cost-of-living pressures and consumer confidence on businesses, particularly if the Christmas sales period falls short of expectations.

In November, Queensland saw 101 liquidation or administration appointments, a notable increase from the 85 recorded in October and the same number in November of the previous year. 

Andrew Weatherley from WCT Advisory Group observed that construction and food services are experiencing similar levels of insolvency. He noted an increase in food service businesses seeking help or opting for liquidation, a trend expected to persist. Mr Weatherley also pointed out the anticipated pressures on the food industry post-Christmas, with many cafe and bar owners planning to close or liquidate after the holiday season.

Government Actions and Business Responses

The situation is compounded by actions from the Australian Tax Office (ATO), which is issuing director penalty notices and statutory demands, adding to the challenges for businesses and insolvency professionals. 

Jarvis Archer, head of business restructuring at Revive Financial, noted that businesses are responding to these pressures by laying off staff and seeking small business restructuring engagements, hoping to survive by reducing debts to manageable levels.

Published 13-Dec-2023

Locals Look to Lift Up Asquith Street Shops in Morningside

The Asquith Street shops, located in a beloved pocket of Morningside, may have seen better days but thanks to a new community-backed petition, this row of storefronts could soon get a desperately needed makeover. 

Read: Morningside Picture Theatre, Other Historic Brisbane Theatres We Lost Through the Years

Supported by shops like The Blue Poppy cafe and The Pizza Garden, with Cr Lucy Collier, the e-petition calls on Brisbane City Council to fund a Village Precinct Project to revive the tired precinct. 

“This pocket of Morningside is beloved, and visited by many locals on a daily basis,” said Cr Collier. “However some residents and the local businesses have raised concerns that the streetscape is in need of improvements.”

Photo credit: Google Street View

If approved, the Asquith Street shops will see Council investment into structured improvements through a Village Precinct Project. Locals hope this will restore the charm and vibrancy that once drew regular visitors to support businesses like The Blue Poppy Cafe.

Photo credit: Cr Lucy Collier – Morningside/Facebook

A Village Precinct Project would use Council funding to deliver upgrades like street furniture, gardens, signage and artwork to boost the area’s appeal and commercial activity. Cr Collier stressed any changes would happen in consultation with affected residents and proprietors.

Depending on the scale of a project, Council will get community input on improvements through on-site kiosks and online surveys before finalising plans. Before construction, local officials will also inform locals of final plans and construction impacts using newsletters, websites, and targeted outreach.

Read: Do-Op Shop Morningside Provides Generous Support to Cannon Hill Family Who Lost Home to Fire

The petition closes on 31 March 2024. For long-time proprietors and newly arrived entrepreneurs alike, the precinct revitalisation offers fresh hope the shops can remain a treasured community hub in Morningside for years to come.

Published 10-December-2023 

SecondBite’s Major Expansion: New Warehouse in Morningside to Double Food Rescue Efforts

Did you know that Morningside has become the focal point of a significant advancement in the fight against food insecurity, thanks to the not-for-profit organisation SecondBite? The opening of a new warehouse in this suburb marks a major step forward in their mission to rescue and distribute food to those in need.

This new facility is a game-changer for SecondBite. It doubles the internal floor space to an impressive 1,200 square metres and includes extended chiller and freezer capacity.

This expansion is not just in size but also in impact, as it enables the organisation to double its food rescue operations in Queensland. The goal is to increase from the 6 million kilograms of food rescued last year to a staggering 12 million kilograms, equating to about 24 million meals annually.

“With the number of food insecure Australian households going from one in five to one in three in the past year, the increased capacity of the new location couldn’t come at a better time,” Daniel Morefield, CEO of SecondBite, highlighted the timely nature of this expansion.

A Community Effort

The expansion was made possible through a mix of government support and private generosity. A significant portion of the funding came from a $500,000 grant by the Queensland government, coupled with over $500,000 in donations from the Charles and Cornelia Goode Foundation, Bowden Marstan Foundation, and the Pavetta Foundation.

The contributions were utilised for a variety of needs including a freezer, cool room installation, modular buildings, signage, pallet racking, a forklift, lease costs, temperature sensors, food containers for the Domestic Violence Meal Program, and power upgrades.

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills, Dianne Farmer, who officially opened the site, emphasised the impact of this funding.

“It will ‘flow through’ to help Queenslanders on the ground who are grappling to make ends meet,” she said. 

Strategic Location and Operations

The choice of Morningside for the new warehouse was strategic, considering its close proximity to the gateway motorway, making it convenient for major donors and charity partners to access. The site includes a 600m2 covered yard fit for semi-trailers, a secure yard, and dual roller doors, enhancing the operational efficiency.

Secondbite Morningside
Photo Credit: Secondbite/Facebook

Currently, the warehouse operates with a team of 12 employees and is equipped with five fleet vehicles used for collecting food from donors.

These vehicles are crucial in bringing back produce and other items to the warehouse, where they are sorted and packed for distribution to over 50 charity partners each week.

A Widespread Impact

Mr Morefield further elaborated on the scope of SecondBite’s operations.

“We work with more than 227 charity partners in Queensland and this warehouse will service both metro and regional areas, helping to feed millions of hungry Queenslanders from as far as Mossman and Mt Isa in the north all the way to Burleigh Heads in the south.”

This expansion by SecondBite represents a vital step in addressing food waste and insecurity in Queensland, proving that with community support and strategic planning, substantial progress can be made in the fight against hunger.

Published 27-Nov-2023

The Sim Range: Extraordinary Golfing Experiences Await in Cannon Hill’s Newest Gem

Did you know that the Sim Range, a family-owned and operated 24/7 driving range and 18-hole golf course simulator, has opened in Cannon Hill, offering a remarkable fusion of technology, entertainment, and community?

The new recreational site is more than just a golfing facility; it’s a visionary venture that seeks to elevate the essence of golf. Founded with a passion for the sport and a commitment to making golf accessible to all, The Sim Range is a haven for golfers of all levels, from novices to experts.

The Sim Range’s goal is to provide golf enthusiasts with top-notch simulator technology and exceptional customer service. The owners also want to create a vibrant community where golfers can connect, thrive, and forge lasting connections. With a blend of technology and warm hospitality, they aspire to inspire a lifelong love for the game of golf.

Immersive Experiences Await

Cutting-edge simulators provide guests a realistic golfing environment, offering precision and breathtaking realism with every swing. The commitment to excellence extends to the immersive visuals, accurate ball flight data, and a welcoming atmosphere that greets golfers.

The Sim Range allows golfers to tee off on world-renowned courses, experiencing the rush of competition or enjoying a leisurely round with friends. The stunning graphics and immersive soundscapes transport players to revered fairways around the globe. These simulators faithfully replicate the essence of golf, creating an unparalleled golfing experience that leaves players awe-struck.

Beyond technology, The Sim Range focuses on creating a sense of belonging and fostering a vibrant golfing community. Golf enthusiasts can connect with fellow players, participate in tournaments, attend clinics, and share the camaraderie that makes golf special. 

Golf for Everyone

The Sim Range welcomes seasoned pros, aspiring golfers, and those looking to try something new. It’s an invitation to embark on an unforgettable golfing journey, to elevate your game, ignite your passion, and discover the extraordinary world of simulator golf.

So, what exactly is simulator golf? It’s golf without the walking, in a quarter of the time, and without being at the mercy of the elements. Their high-definition projectors and sophisticated launch monitors recreate the look and feel of real golf, showcasing realistic ball physics. Players can hit balls on the range or play full rounds on a choice of famous courses from around the world.

To join The Sim Range as a member, individuals must be 18 years old or 16 with parental consent. However, social rounds are open to the whole family, as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

Follow them on Instagram for more details.

Published 1-Nov-2023