The multi-million Queenscliff Ferry Terminal has officially opened, offering passengers modern facilities and a safer car and passenger ferry service between Sorrento and Queenscliff in Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay.
The redevelopment is jointly funded under the Geelong City Deal, with the Federal Government contributing $10 million and Searoad Ferries contributing the balance of project costs.
Federal Member for Corio, Richard Marles, joined Federal Member for Corangamite, Libby Coker, and Member for Bellarine, Alison Marchant, to represent the Victorian Minister for Regional Development, Harriet Shing, at the formal opening of the completed ferry terminal redevelopment supported by the Geelong City Deal.
Mr Marles called the completion of the ferry terminal redevelopment a great win for Greater Geelong.
“The Queenscliff Ferry Terminal will open up another gateway into the beautiful city of Geelong and its surrounds,” Mr Marles said.
“The modern new terminal, along with the many thousands of passengers that Searoad Ferries will bring, is going to be great for local tourism and business.”
The new terminal building and site features modern facilities and bathrooms, safer access, improved car parking, function rooms, a retail space and indoor and outdoor dining offering spectacular views of Port Phillip Bay and Port Phillip Heads.
The new terminal building was designed by F2 Architecture and built by Kane Construction.
Ms Coker said, “From the first crossing in 1987 to the opening of this new facility, the ferry service in Queenscliff has connected people on both sides of Port Phillip Bay. This new terminal will secure local jobs and boost tourism in the region.”
The terminal opened prior to completion in December 2022 to accommodate high visitor numbers to the region over the summer peak season.
The final stage of the project, completed at the beginning of 2023, delivered a new public boardwalk and gantry providing an accessible and safe route for passengers to board and disembark the ferry, as well as an upper level of the terminal building and other outdoor elements.
The completion of the redevelopment delivers a safer and more enjoyable experience for motorists and pedestrians using the car and passenger ferry service.
The Queenscliff Ferry Terminal supported 71 new jobs during construction and an additional 22 new ongoing jobs within the ferry operations.
Ms Shing, said, “This Geelong City Deal project provides an economic boost to the region – creating more jobs and more reasons for people to experience this world-class gateway to Geelong and the Great Ocean Road.”
Searoad Ferries is the iconic car and passenger ferry service between Sorrento and Queenscliff in Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay.
CEO at Searoad Ferries, Matt McDonald, said, “The new Queenscliff Ferry Terminal provides Searoad Ferries’ customers with a world-class experience. It has delivered an improved infrastructure project between government and the private sector that holds enormous potential for creating jobs and boosting the local economy.”
Operating since 1987, the service carries more than 250,000 vehicles and 960,000 people every year making it the busiest car and passenger ferry service in Australia.
Ms Marchant, said, “This exciting development creates an unbeatable experience for locals and visitors and delivers a tourism drawcard for the region that will strengthen the local economy and build new jobs in our communities.”
The $500 million Geelong City Deal is a plan to transform Geelong and the Great Ocean Road by the Federal and Victorian governments, and the City of Greater Geelong.