The first peak day of the new season has seen many visitors disappointed at not being able to get to Bruny Island.
Some, including a couple of our guests, were booked onto the Bruny Island Cruise being picked up by Pennicott Wilderness Journey’s bus at the Kettering office. The bus was unable to board the ferry because of demand.
This has been an ongoing problem for many years, partially solved late last year by the introduction of a second ferry. This has not been put back on the run to cope with this long weekend. Unbelievable!
The following story has appeared this morning on the Mercury News site:
A SECOND ferry will be added to the Bruny Island service from November 2.
Premier Will Hodgman today announced what he described as a new, extended-peak-season two-vessel model for Bruny Island to meet the growing demand of residents and visitors alike.
The new model would see a 44 per cent increase in capacity over a new, extended six-month higher-demand season when compared to the existing single vessel service, Mr Hodgman said.
“The Bowen (the second ferry) will join the Mirrambeena from 2 November to provide the two-ferry service right through the coming summer and until the end of March, in addition to the already contracted Easter sailings,” he said.
“In future years, the vessels will operate together from the beginning of October till the end of March.”
THE residents of Bruny Island say the second summer ferry service can’t start soon enough, with the existing ferry already “chock-a-block” at peak times of the day.
For the first time last summer, the barge MV Bowen was put to work alongside the island’s main ferry the Mirambeena to address the problem of access during high season.
Last year the service began running on December 22 and finished in early February, but the island’s every-growing popularity with visitors has the community hoping the ferry will start sooner this year.
The last meeting of the Kingborough Council’s Bruny Island Advisory Council, held earlier this month, urged the council to write to Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding seeking early activation of the second ferry.
Bruny Island Advisory Committee deputy chair Trevor Adams said the morning ferry to the island and the afternoon ferry off the island were already extremely busy.
“The 9.30am ferry in the morning is just chock-a-block full and they have to run extra trips,” he said.
Mr Adams said the second ferry service had been a huge boost for the island last summer and over Easter.
“It helped a lot, it got the traffic flowing and there were no worries at all, everyone was happy with it,” he said.
Kingborough Mayor Steve Wass said the second ferry service had been a boost for the island and welcomed the State Government’s commitment to running the service to meet demand this year.
Kingborough councillor Dean Winter, speaking on his own behalf, said the continued inability of the island’s visitors to book online or in any other way was holding back the island’s tourism potential.
“If Bruny Island’s tourism sector — which is a very large part of the island’s economic activity — is going to grow and reach its full potential, it needs to have a 21st century booking system on the ferry,” Mr Winter said.
But Mr Adams said the island residents did not want a booking system because it could restrict local access.
About blo*dy time!!!!