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/ Categories: PTA News

Public invited to name new Swan River ferry

02/03/2009

Perth is about to get a new Swan River ferry.

Transport Minister Simon O’Brien said the $1.45million vessel would replace the ‘Countess II’, which was commissioned in 1969.

Mr O’Brien also invited the public to help name the new vessel, with $500 for the winning suggestion.

“The Countess is the older of the two Transperth ferries offering a seven-day-a-week service between the Barrack Street and Mends Street jetties,” he said.

“The new ferry is in the final stages of construction at the Henderson yard of SBF Shipbuilders and is expected to go into service in May.

“Its specifications and design are identical to its sister ferry, the ‘Shelley Taylor-Smith’, at 21.7m long, 5.5m wide and with a capacity of 148 passengers.

“The Public Transport Authority will be taking public submissions - by ordinary mail as well as electronically - from today until the close of business on Monday, March 16.  The winner will receive $500 worth of SmartRider credit and will be invited to the new ferry’s official launch.

“The name can recall an object, animal or person, living or dead, but it must have a Western Australian connection. We would also like it to have some connection with the river, Perth and South Perth.

“Entry forms and instructions can be downloaded from the Transperth website or picked up from Transperth information offices and the ferry offices at the Barrack Street and Mends Street jetties.”

From May to August the ferry makes the 1.3km crossing 60 times per weekday and

54 on each of Saturday and Sunday. From September to April, it makes 80 crossings per weekday and 62 on the weekends.  Both ferries are needed to cover the summer months schedule.

The Minister said the ferries’ normal working life was 30 years, but a major refurbishment in 1998 had extended the Countess’ useful life by 10 years.

“It has been operating as the second-string vessel since the introduction of the ‘Shelley Taylor-Smith’ in 1997,” he said.

“The new ferry will incorporate better levels of disability access and enable us to relegate the ‘Shelley Taylor-Smith’ to secondary duties, thus extending the working life of that vessel.”

Mr O’Brien said the Countess would be sold with the tender to be advertised shortly.

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