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Coalition Minister Ben Morton questions financially viability of expanding Perth ferry service to Applecross

A Coalition Minister has questioned the financially viability of a commuter ferry from Canning Bridge to Perth CBD, saying it would be “slower and more expensive” than the existing train service.

Special Minister of State Ben Morton, the Liberal MP for Tangney, which includes Applecross, said the city’s ferry network should only be expanded with new stops where viable.

It comes after The West revealed the State Government wants to leverage the Federal election to secure funding to expand the existing Elizabeth Quay to South Perth service.

Perth’s Labor MP Patrick Gorman said he had been very supportive of the idea to expand the ferry network and community surveys had shown local residents wanted the public transport option.

Patrick Gorman.
Camera IconPatrick Gorman. Credit: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

“They are keen to see expanded ferry services because it’s good for the CBD, it’s good for getting people into the city, it’s good for taking cars off our roads, it’s a beautiful way to travel,” he said.

“If you’ve been on the ferries in Sydney or Brisbane, it’s a beautiful way to get around. I love the idea of expanding our ferry network. Whether that happens at this election or whether it happens right here or now, I think it’s something that West Australians do generally get excited by.”

Mr Gorman said adding a stop on the Applecross side of Canning Bridge, near the Raffles Hotel, would be a “missed opportunity”, before nominating Bayswater’s Riverside Gardens or Optus Stadium in Burswood as potential options.

Mr Morton, however, was less enthusiastic and said he had seen no details that would suggest a commuter ferry from Canning Bridge would be financially viable.

“It would be both slower and more expensive than the existing train from Canning Bridge that already has pretty good river views from the carriages,” he said.

“These commitments without the details demonstrate Federal Labor’s inability to manage taxpayers money and we will all pay a price for their mismanagement.

“I have no issue with the State Government expanding their ferry services, but only where it is viable to do so.”

Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said the State Government was in discussions with both sides of Federal politics about a range of transport commitments ahead of the election.

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