A survey conducted by the Member for South Perth, John McGrath MLA, reveals stronger than ever support for the reintroduction of the Coode Street ferry service.
Mr McGrath, who recently surveyed about 2500 residents in the near vicinity of the Coode Street jetty, said he would use the feedback to support his argument.
“After looking at the response I have no doubt that a well structured and properly advertised ferry would be viable and a welcome addition to Perth’s public transport system,” he said. “Many of the people who responded to the survey said they would utilize the service.”
Mr McGrath said he would write to the Minister for Transport, Hon Simon O’Brien, when the analysis of the survey was complete.
“I have no doubt the people of Perth have an expectation that our extensive river system will one day be used for public transport as happens in other cities such as Brisbane” Mr McGrath said. “The extensive residential developments happening at Burswood, Victoria Park and East Perth will lend themselves to supporting extended ferry services in the future.
“However, the well established South Perth residential base justifies the reinstatement of the Coode Street service to work in tandem with the very popular Mends Street service.”
Mr McGrath said the sudden cancellation of the Coode Street ferry service by the Labor government in April 2005 damaged the concept of a network of ferries servicing Perth City.
“We need to rebuild public confidence in supporting a service that will be permanently available when they require it,” he said.
“I understand that the Mends Street ferry is the least subsidised of all Perth public transport services, which demonstrates this form of transport is well accepted by the public. A Coode Street ferry scheduled to meet user needs can be equally successful.”
Mr McGrath believes Coode Street has the advantage of existing parking which would encourage patronage of the ferry by people beyond the immediately surrounding area.
“But a lot of people have indicated that they would prefer to walk to the ferry, giving them valuable exercise on their way to and from work,” he said.
“This will mean fewer cars going into the city,” he said.
Mr McGrath said, due to the fact that the Swan was not a particularly deep river, he would like the Government to investigate the use of shallow draft boats like the ones used in Brisbane’s ferry service.”