The Cape Jervis to Kangaroo Island ferry service is to receive a boost with a new player joining the game.
Kangaroo Island Connect will be operating a 25 metre catamaran, ‘The James Cowell’, which will have a capacity to ferry up to 800 people a day.
This is a shot in the arm for tourism on Kangaroo Island (KI), but what will it mean for the Western Fleurieu Peninsula? Thousands of tourists each year visit, but how many stay on the beautiful and tranquil part of the mainland, which is our Western Fleurieu?
Many just drive through the towns of Myponga, Yankalilla, Normanville, bypass Carrickalinga, Second Valley and Rapid Bay to get to their preferred destination to board the ferry and get to KI.
The new service which will start prior to Christmas and go full throttle over the New Year will complement, as well as compete, with the very stable and reliable business model of SeaLink, which has been in operation for nearly 30 years.
Yankalilla mayor Glen Rowlands quite rightly welcomes the new venture, but is concerned on the repercussions of his own backyard.
Kangaroo Connect has the support of the KI council, SA Tourism and the state government, so it is important that the levels of government which control our roads and transport system listen to the concerns of Yankalilla’s passionate mayor.
There is talk of a dual highway to Cape Jervis to facilitate easier travel for visitors heading to KI, which is fine, but it has to include the dangerous Myponga/Yankalilla road and give greater support for services in Yankalilla.
Tourism is about the whole of our state and include some real riches on our Western Fleurieu. Not just a trip to Cape Jervis, hop on a boat and ignore what has been driven past.
There is no doubt KI is a magnificent destination and to have two ferries ploughing through the waters of Backstairs Passage, visitation is going to grow at extraordinary lengths. It also means the infrastructure on the Western Fleurieu is going to be used more, so it is only fair that suitable investment is supplied in the region.
The Yankalilla mayor is not asking for much, just a little spin off from the increase in traffic through his region and hopefully he will get a sensible and generous ear as soon as possible.