Words by: Mandy Moe Pwint Tu
Plans to add onto Perth’s already vibrant river culture are underway with a new city shuttle ferry service set to begin on the Swan River.
Under a plan supported by Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi this service is scheduled to commence in October of this year, about the same time as the opening of the State Government’s Elizabeth Quay project.
The Little Ferry Company is proposing to launch two electric solar ferries that will shuttle tourists and locals between Claisebrook Cove in East Perth, South Perth, the Old Perth Port and Elizabeth Quay.
The ferries are currently being built in Queensland, and when finished, will be ten metres in length and will be able to carry up to twelve passengers.
Company managing director Kevyn Townley has said that the idea began as a plan to run a service resembling the water taxis operating in other states, but the small ferries will be more accessible. The popularity of the service will determine whether or not more ferries and riverside destinations will be added.
“Certainly Elizabeth Quay has been the catalyst, that’s going to start a lot of things happening,” Mr Townley said.
“But it’s not only Elizabeth Quay, when you look around this body of water, there’s the Fraser Point development….there’s obviously the new Perth Stadium and the Crown Casino hotel, so there’s a lot of activity happening in and around this area.”
This endeavour has also received support from Tourism WA executive director of infrastructure and investment, Derryn Belford.
“Tourism WA believes that the ferry service would enhance the tourist experience in Perth, whilst providing a unique form of travel and educating visitors on Perth’s European and Indigenous history, all in a sustainable manner,” Ms Belford said.
“This amenity creates opportunities to educate and entertain visitors, provide historical interpretation of significant sites along the river, as well as explore Perth’s exciting new precincts.”