Bangkok Post - - BUSINESS -

Aus­tralian of­fi­cials give a har­bour ferry a goofy name, but not all are laugh­ing.

SYD­NEY: In the grand tra­di­tion of Bri­tain’s Boaty McBoat­face, Aus­tralian au­thor­i­ties are chris­ten­ing one of the fer­ries cross­ing Syd­ney’s world fa­mous har­bour Ferry McFer­ry­face, but some union work­ers aren’t amused.

The New South Wales state govern­ment an­nounced the name for one of its six new fer­ries yes­ter­day af­ter a pub­lic vote, with Trans­port Min­is­ter An­drew Con­stance deem­ing it “one for the kids”.

Ferry McFer­ry­face was ac­tu­ally the sec­ond choice in the Aus­tralian poll, be­hind Boaty McBoat­face, the name also cho­sen by the Bri­tish pub­lic in a 2016 vote to name a new po­lar re­search ves­sel.

The Bri­tish govern­ment over­turned that vote, in­stead nam­ing the ves­sel af­ter lead­ing nat­u­ral­ist David At­ten­bor­ough, but failed to stem an in­ter­net craze that led to tem­po­rary copy­cats like Trainy McTrain­face and Firey McFireface.

The name Boaty McBoat­face even­tu­ally went to a re­search ves­sel on board the David At­ten­bor­ough.

Aus­tralian au­thor­i­ties said they planned to com­ply with the pub­lic vote, al­beit pass­ing on Boaty as the first choice, given the lack of orig­i­nal­ity.

“We asked Syd­ney to name their new fer­ries, and we have lis­tened,” Con­stance said. “Ferry McFer­ry­face will be the har­bour’s new­est icon, and I hope it brings a smile to the faces of vis­i­tors and lo­cals alike.”

But the coun­try’s Mar­itime Union, whose mem­bers staff the ferry fleet, failed to see the funny side.

Paul Gar­rett, a spokesman for the union, said work­ers were frus­trated by the de­ci­sion, not­ing that fer­ries have tra­di­tion­ally been named af­ter Syd­ney’s beaches and suc­cess­ful Olympians.

“The trans­port min­is­ter is demon­strat­ing here that he treats pub­lic trans­port as a joke,” Gar­rett told 2GB ra­dio.

Three of the other five new fer­ries have al­ready been given more tra­di­tional names in hon­our of lu­mi­nar­ies in­clud­ing heart sur­geon Vic­tor Chang, oph­thal­mol­o­gist and hu­man­i­tar­ian Fred Hol­lows and ob­ste­tri­cian and gy­nae­col­o­gist Cather­ine Ham­lin.


This un­dated artist’s draw­ing shows the de­sign of the last ferry in a new Syd­ney Har­bour fleet which will be chris­tened Ferry McFer­ry­face.

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