By Juliano Oliveira
Brisbane City Council will reinstate three wooden monohull ferries to the fleet after being decommissioned from service last year, given the vessels damaged conditions.
The council will disburse more than $4 million over two years to restore the vessels as the costs have already been budgeted. There is $1.8 million allocated in 2021-22 and more than $2.2 million in 2022-23.
“These vessels are up to 37 years old, and unlike recreational vessels that get occasional use, they’ve been working hard on the river virtually every day since they entered service,” Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said.
“It was the right call to remove the wooden monohull ferries from service last year for safety reasons.
“Over the past eight months, we’ve undertaken various assessments of the fleet, received the final business case, and I have now ensured funding is allocated to get on with the repairs,” he said.
Risk assessment reports on the wooden-hulled vessels pointed to extensive deterioration and compromised structural integrity. Upon restoration, they will be ready to re-enter service alongside the five new KittyCats.
Public and Active Transport Chair Councillor Ryan Murphy said buses, trains and ferries all have a use-by-date and had to be retired and replaced at some stage.
“We get approximately 20 years of life out of buses and CityCats, so for these old ferries to be operating for up to 37 years is pushing their limits.
We’ve identified which vessels are in the best condition, and we’re going to lovingly restore them to serve the people of Brisbane for many more years.”