Faster ferries should knot be a problem
THE ferry system being planned for the Gold Coast could double in speed but it will depend on the wave impact from the latest available boats.
Councillors at a full meeting of the Gold Coast City Council were unanimous yesterday, backing a trial which will cost ratepayers about $300,000.
The decision means after employing expert consultants, officers by February will have a better understanding of the economic viability of a ferry system on Coast waterways.
Councillors will return in March to vote on progressing the system in the Nerang River and throughout the Broadwater. At that meeting they will consider a memorandum of understanding with the State Government which determines responsibility for issues such as funding pontoons and the ticketing system.
Councillor Tate told the Bulletin: “This will be market tested. The proponent out there will let us know what is the high demand (routes).
“This is another example where State Government, City of Gold Coast and Gold Coast Waterways Authority are all aboard.”
Fourteen have been potential stops identified from Tipplers south to Metricon Stadium at Carrara but not all may make it to trial.
Councillors were told the trial would see a ferry operate at the six knot speed limit where required.
But Cr Tate said a wave expert employed for the study meant “there was no problem in cranking it up to 10”.
“During the trial we will be keeping to the speed limit. But the speed limit from Labrador all the way past Southport there kicks into 40kmh, so to Couran Cove and Tipplers that’s pretty quick,” he said.
“My attitude is stick to the speed limit during the trial, when the Minister and I are on board with the special equipment to test wave energy, crank it up a few notches.
“If we can get it going at 10 to 12 knots it means there are more frequency of boats ... it’s more economically viable if the ferry’s moving faster.”