A CAR ferry linking Phillip Island and the Mornington Peninsula is back on the agenda with the State Government committing $200,000 towards a feasibility study to determine whether the Cowes Jetty is a suitable docking point.
Bass Coast Shire Council will commission the study which will assess implications for the Cowes Jetty Triangle and a detailed traffic and parking impact assessment.
Bass Coast Mayor Brett Tessari said the community would be invited to provide feedback on the project, which has created ripples in the Phillip Island community since it was first floated many years ago.
Council backs car ferry ‘in principle’
April 20, 2018 - The Cowes jetty is back on the table as a possible terminal for a car ferry service to the Mornington Peninsula.
Car ferry a goer
February 16, 2018 - A stretch of beachfront between Mussel Rocks and the Cowes Yacht Club is the preferred dock for a proposed car ferry between Phillip Island and the Mornington Peninsula.
It’s also supported by the Phillip Island and San Remo Visitor Economy Strategy 2035, adopted by the council in 2015, and still supported by the council – at least in theory.
But the practicality has proved far more difficult. A 2018 business case study showed overwhelming support for the proposed ferry among Mornington Peninsula residents (87 per cent), but it was much lower in Bass Coast (66 per cent), with concerns expressed around environmental impacts, traffic congestion and the location of the terminal in Cowes.
The Cowes jetty was expressly excluded from consideration as a docking point in the study due to a vocal local campaign.
Instead the study recommended a section of beachfront between Mussel Rocks and the Cowes Yacht Club – and that proved even more controversial.
Last year, the council adopted a notice of motion stating it would not proceed with any further consideration of the sites already explored in the business case.
Cr Tessari said the council continued to support a car ferry in principle.
“However, Council deferred consideration of the Business Case based on community feedback throughout the consultation process, until a comprehensive investigation has been undertaken as to whether the Cowes Jetty is a more suitable location.
Bass MP Jordan Crugnale, a former Bass Coast mayor, welcomed the feasibility study.
“If it is viable, the car ferry will bolster our region’s tourism appeal and bolster jobs into the future.”