1st Kennett Ministry


NEWS RELEASE

From the Office of the Premier of Victoria.
December 22, 1993
PREMIER LAUNCHES NEW BAY FERRY SERVICE

The Premier, Mr Kennett, today launched the new ferry "Queenscliff" which will ply the route between two of the most popular and historic resorts on Port Phillip Bay:

* From Queenscliff, which was established in 1838 as a base for the Port Phillip Bay pilot service and was fortified in the 1880s against a feared invasion by Russian ships.

Queenscliff's role as a holiday resort dates back to 1844 when Latrobe, who later became Lieutenant Governor of Victoria, built a holiday house there.

* To Sorrento, the location of Victoria's first settlement established by Lt-Governor David Collins in October, 1803.

Collins led an expedition of 466 people to settle at Sorrento, then named Sullivan Bay, but they found conditions inhospitable and the settlement was abandoned within months.

Mr Kennett described the upgraded ferry service as a vital link in Victoria's tourism infrastructure.

"Port Phillip Bay is being recognised increasingly as the lynchpin among our wealth of natural tourism assets," he said.

"It is not only the summer holiday refuge of tens of thousands of Melbourne people, but attracts visitors from around Australia and overseas.

"To date, however, the bay has been largely cut off from the city and its asset value to our image, lifestyle and tourism market has not been fully realised.

"Bayside development and greater utilisation of the bay will be integral to future business and tourism growth -- for the city itself, for Geelong and the resort suburbs and towns dotted along the bay to the Heads."

The Premier said the ferry project was a $5 million private sector investment which demonstrated enormous confidence in Port Phillip Bay's role in the future of the tourism and recreational sector.

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It would provide a convenient, upmarket service between two of the most extreme points on the bay and would itself boost visitor numbers to the Bellarine and Mornington Peninsula areas.

He paid tribute to Peninsula Searoad Transport Pty Ltd and its managing director, Captain John Mackeddie, for their initiative to introduce the new service.

The ferry service has operated since 1987 with the "Peninsula Princess", a vessel capable of transporting 30 cars and 300 people. The new ferry will be able to carry 60 cars and 500 people.

Passengers on the "Queenscliff" for the 35-minute crossing will get superb views of the Heads and Point Nepean as well as an opportunity to view marine creatures such as dolphins.

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