After 30,000 hours, Brisbane’s second double-decker CityCat, Neville Bonner, will today be christened by Mr Bonner’s descendants.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said it was incredibly special for this new vessel to be officially launched into service by the late Neville Bonner’s grandchildren.

“Naming CityCat 23 Neville Bonner will honour the first Indigenous Australian to enter Federal Parliament and an extraordinary leader for the Nation’s First People,” Cr Schrinner said.

“Mr Bonner paved the way for Indigenous politicians and championed the rights of Indigenous people until his death in 1999.

“He was a trailblazer in so many ways, ahead of his time in his thinking, social conscience and ability as a Senator and as an outspoken advocate for Indigenous affairs and the general community.

“The Brisbane River is the heart of our city and to have Neville Bonner’s grandchildren take part in the christening ceremony is a special way to honour him.

“For Brisbane to have both a bridge and a double-decker CityCat named in his honour will ensure the people of Brisbane learn more about Mr Bonner’s contribution towards our Indigenous community, our city and the nation.”

Local Murarrie shipbuilders AusShips worked for 30,000 hours to design and construct Neville Bonner. AusShips, which employs more than 60 locals, is contracted to build Council’s double-decker CityCat fleet.

“Like the first double-decker CityCat, Yoogera, the new 43-tonne vessel can carry 170 passengers, has enlarged windows for better views, dedicated wheelchair spaces, bike racks and an upper deck where you can experience the stunning views of the Brisbane River,” Cr Schrinner said.

“Brisbane residents can be proud to board Neville Bonner knowing it was built locally, helping support our economy and generating critical jobs during the debilitating global coronavirus pandemic.

Public and Active Transport Chair Ryan Murphy said the double-decker CityCats have already become icons of Brisbane river transport, and five more next-generation vessels were on the way.

“Double-decker CityCats represent the evolution of river travel and provide a truly breath-taking and scenic way for residents and visitors to get around Brisbane and explore the best of what it has to offer,” Cr Murphy said.

“Construction is already speeding along on CityCats 24 and 25 right here in Brisbane and they are  expected to join the fleet in 2021.

“As coronavirus puts a stranglehold on all economies, the fleet of next generation CityCats is one of the many major projects we are delivering to get the Brisbane economy moving again,” Cr Murphy said.

Council has allocated $37.1 million over the next four years to deliver the NextGen fleet of double-decker CityCats.