19 February 2024

$11.1m wharf win for Horn Island

| Cape York Weekly
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The State Government says planned upgrades to the Horn Island wharf will be completed by November 2024 and make travel to the island and day-to-day life for residents easier. Photo: Supplied.

One of the busiest marine facilities in the Torres Strait will be almost unrecognisable by the end of the year, following a $11.1 million funding commitment to upgrade ageing infrastructure.

On 16 February, 2024, the Queensland Government announced Ports North would lead a project to upgrade to the Horn Island port that would increase capacity and deliver safer, more accessible passenger facilities.

As part of the infrastructure boost, the wharf will get a new pontoon and passenger waiting areas, as well as a pedestrian walkway, with capacity increasing to berth either two 12-metre vessels, or a single vessel up to 25m in length.

About 700 people pass through the wharf facility every day, with most coming from the airport, and commuting to and from Thursday Island.

The new pontoon will have a covered roof to protect passengers from the elements, while the raised pedestrian walkway will be constructed along the full length of the causeway to provide accessibility for those with disabilities or requiring assistance.

Fabrication work will start later this month, with onsite construction due to commence in the second half of 2024.

Minister for Transport and Main Roads Bart Mellish said the upgrade would keep the area “connected to trade and economic opportunities”.

“The Horn Island upgrades will have a significant impact on the local community, who rely on port facilities for necessary goods and daily transport.”

Cook MP Cynthia Lui praised the project and said it had been a long time coming.

“Horn Island is one of the busiest marine facilities in the Torres Strait, catering for a

vast number of people travelling to and from Thursday Island, from the outer islands

of the Torres Strait and further down south,” Ms Cook said.

The boss of project leader Ports North, chief executive officer Richard Stevenson, said the wharf upgrade was vital in the day-to-day lives of Torres Strait residents.

“The Horn Island port facility enables essential supplies to enter the region and is part of many residents’ day-to-day living,” he explained.

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