Tender open for car ferry study
The process to investigate the feasibility of a car ferry between Phillip Island and Stony Point on the Mornington Peninsula has now begun, with the tender to develop a business case for the project now open.
Earlier this year, Bass Coast Shire Council and Mornington Peninsula Shire agreed to participate in and contribute $25,000 to the Cowes to Stony Point Car Ferry Infrastructure Business Case Project, a joint $250,000 project between the Councils and Regional Development Victoria (RDV).
The business case will review the cost, requirements and viability of a car ferry between Stony Point and Phillip Island.
Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Pamela Rothfield, has also been appointed chair of the Project Steering Committee.
Cr Rothfield said investigation into the feasibility of a car ferry is supported by Council’s Phillip Island and San Remo Visitor Economy Strategy 2035, Growing Tourism, and Destination Phillip Island’s Strategic Tourism Plan 2014 – 2019.
There has been strong interest by a range of key stakeholders, such as Visit Victoria, RDV, Destination Phillip Island, Destination Gippsland, key tourism attractions on the Island, Mornington Peninsula Shire and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Tourism Board to continue to explore the viability of a car ferry.
At this stage the Councils have not committed to anything more than a business case and in the second half of 2017 will be asking the community for input as part of the process.
“There are a lot of factors to consider, including of course, an environmental impact study, before a decision is made, and it is important for our Councils to get involved in the project at an early stage so we can ensure our communities have as much input as possible as the project progresses,” said Cr Rothfield.
Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor, Cr Bev Colomb welcomed the opportunity to work with Bass Coast Shire Council to develop the business case.
“The project is consistent with the Shire’s Economic Development Strategy 2016-2019 and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Tourism Board’s Destination Management Plan 2014.
“Our Councils will have the opportunity to assess the recommendations of this project before any further decisions are made, and we will ensure our communities continue to have input throughout the process” she said.
Supporters suggest that a car ferry between Stony Point and Cowes will create an iconic coastal touring route.
Such a touring route incorporating the Great Ocean Road, the Mornington Peninsula, Phillip Island, mainland Bass Coast, Wilsons Promontory and the Gippsland Lakes has the potential to boost both international and domestic visitation, particularly during the shoulder and winter seasons.
Interested applicants can find a link to the tender online at www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/tenders.