By Juliano Oliveira
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has announced that four mini catamarans will be responsible for the passengers’ transportation on the Brisbane River in the absence of the old timber ferry fleet.
The other eight vessels, out of the waters since 25 July, are still going under safety inspections and maintenance after independent experts found an extensive list of damage, deterioration, and faults in most of them.
The new ‘KittyCats’ are being relocated from Sydney and start operating in early November when RiverCity Ferries takes over operation of the CityCat and ferry fleet.
“Before they can come into service, the KittyCats will be modified to suit the Brisbane River conditions and crew need to undergo training on the new vessels,” Cr Schrinner said.
“They were designed and built in Australia and are constructed of marine grade aluminium, making them durable, sturdy, stable and safe to carry up to 60 passengers.”
Last month, one Cross River ferry was put back into service on the Bulimba to Teneriffe route. CityCats are also stopping at the Holman St Ferry terminal and a shuttle bus is running from Kangaroo Point to the city.
“The timber ferries require extensive repairs and need some very specialised work to get them back on the water, but strict State Government border restrictions due to the pandemic have meant interstate experts have been unable to get here to start the process,” Cr Schrinner said.
“This means we still don’t have a firm timeframe for when the timber ferries will be back in the water. As an interim measure, this KittyCat fleet will get residents and visitors back and forth across the river.”