THE WESTERN Australian Government will commit $2 million in the 2024-2025 state budget to a feasibility study of the expansion of Perth ferry services.

The allocation was announced today [22 April] as part of a revelation the government will deliver an $18.7 million revamp of jetty infrastructure at one of Perth’s most iconic waterfront precincts, Barrack Square, in support of improvements to tourism and charter operations on the Swan River.

Barrack Square and its jetties form one of Perth’s busiest waterfront tourism locations, neighbouring Elizabeth Quay and the Bell Tower, the government says. Jetty One, which will be replaced, has been in service for more than 50 years, nearly double its original 30-year design life, with the Department of Transport undertaking remediation works in recent years due to degraded wood piling.

The Jetty One project also includes replacement of a section of substructure supporting the Old Perth Port Building. A tender process for the design and construction of the new jetty is expected to commence later this year, with construction set to begin in 2025-26.

Meanwhile, the $2 million feasibility investigation will allow the Public Transport Authority to undertake detailed analysis of an expansion to ferry services. This will include assessments of the best locations for new ferry terminals, potential designs for new ferries, terminals and berths, geotechnical and civil engineering analysis, and dredging assessments.

On the other side of the country from early last week Brisbane River ferry passengers travelling on adult fares have been able to use Smart Ticketing to pay for their journey on Brisbane’s iconic CityCats.

Residents and tourists alike travelling on CityCats can use their Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card, debit card, smartphone or smartwatch to pay for their journey. The customer trial of the technology on CityCats means full-fare public transport users can now pay for their journey with Smart Ticketing on South East Queensland (SEQ) trains, Gold Coast trams and Brisbane River ferries.

All 2600 buses and train stations in SEQ and the six Southern Moreton Bay Islands (SMBI) ferries have Smart Ticketing technology installed with customer trials on buses to begin operator-by-operator this year.