Push to shore up ferry plan

Written By miftah nugraha on Senin, 08 Juli 2013 | 19.55

Clarence Deputy Mayor Jock Campbell says commuters need a back-up option to the Tasman Bridge.

GREATER Hobart is crying out for a fast and efficient ferry service between the CBD and Bellerive, says Sustainable Transport Minister Nick McKim.

Mr McKim today joined Hobart Lord Mayor Damon Thomas and Clarence Deputy Mayor Jock Campbell to announce a $30,000 formal consultation process on the ferry plan.

Potential operators and key stakeholders will soon be invited by the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources to discuss how best to run a viable and sustainable service.

"Two cities like Hobart and Bellerive are crying out for a fast and efficient mass-transit ferry service," Mr McKim said in a statement.

"I'm pleased to announce that I'm working with the two relevant councils to make that happen.

"In May, I agreed to part-fund a formal engagement process with would-be operators. Both councils have shown real enthusiasm for this concept and I warmly welcome their joint funding."

Mr McKim said he was also continuing to work with Transit Systems on its submission for a ferry service up the Derwent River.

Rick Metcalfe, the man behind plans for a River Derwent commuter ferry service, recently told the Mercury he had three vessels ready to transport up to 3000 passengers a day along the river from stops as far afield as Kettering, Bruny Island, South Arm and Bridgewater.

Captain Metcalfe has been invited to Mr McKim's office this week to discuss the submission.

Meanwhile, council heads from the eastern and western sides of the river agree that a new commuter ferry service is essential.

"An integrated ferry public transport network is the missing link for Greater Hobart sustainable transport options and one that the public quite rightly expects to be addressed," Ald Thomas said.

Ald Campbell said the city needed a back-up option to the Tasman Bridge.

"It would be great to see a mass-transit a ferry service running between the two cities," he said.

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