EDUCATIONAL ADVENTURES: All the littlies enjoy the new Octonauts zone at Sea Life Mooloolaba.
EDUCATIONAL ADVENTURES: All the littlies enjoy the new Octonauts zone at Sea Life Mooloolaba. CONTRIBUTED

Rival aquarium in Brisbane won't hurt Underwater World: Trad

A RIVAL aquarium in the middle of Brisbane will help, not hinder Underwater World, its owners believe.

On Wednesday Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced a $100 million proposal to redevelop the existing Maritime Museum on the eastern side of South Bank.

The plan would see a state-of-the-art aquarium built on the Brisbane River's banks and combined with a revamped museum. The project would link with the planned casino development at Queen's Wharf via the existing Goodwill pedestrian bridge.

Despite the possible competition to the Sunshine Coast's iconic Sea Life Underwater World, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad told media Queensland's tourism market can support both.

Ms Trad said a Brisbane-based aquarium would "absolutely not" draw tourists away from Underwater World.

"As the Tourism Minister (Kate Jones) has already outlined, tourism in Queensland is going through a boom," she said.

"That means there are plenty of tourists to go around to all of our key tourism locations in the state."

In a statement a spokesperson for Merlin Entertainments, owner of Underwater World, said they believed the Sunshine Coast would benefit from major tourism investments in Brisbane.

"Any investment that is planned for the tourism industry is positive news. We have a very strong local visitation market and Brisbane is part of that, however we find our visitors from Brisbane are really looking for a day trip or overnight stay away from the city," the statement said.

"Merlin is the world's second biggest visitor attraction operator, and we have injected $7 million in investment at Sea Life Mooloolaba over the past two and a half years, introducing an exciting range of new exhibits and marine conservation programs, aligning with Merlin's global network of Sea Life aquariums ensuring Sea Life Mooloolaba as a must-see Sunshine Coast attraction.

"The company remains committed to a strong five-year plan that will continue to deliver a world-class attraction for both locals and tourists to enjoy."

The Brisbane aquarium is being championed by the Maritime Museum, Advanced Aquarium Technologies and Crossley Architects.

The proposal does not outline when the aquarium would be opened or what animals it may house. - ARM NEWSDESK


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