Ferry exciting future

As the operator of the Australia’s largest electric bus depot, sustainable transport is a key driver in the Kelsian Group’s contract offering, which now includes options for electric ferries.

SeaLink Sydney, operating locally as Captain Cook Cruises, successfully secured a 15-year contract for the Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) Lane Cove ferry service, having run the service for the last 17 years. It provides important public transport access for Lane Cove River residents and school children.

The new contract with TfNSW contains an option to move to low emissions technology during the term, which may include the construction of an electric powered ferry, capable of operating the service in battery mode.

“We are working with governments, stakeholders and clients to pursue the design and construction of low and zero emission vessels including hydrogen and electric, and we’re excited to include options in our contract offering for the Lane Cove service,” SeaLink Marine & Tourism Chief Operating Officer, Donna Gauci said.

Kelsian Group is a leader in sustainable public transport and operator of Australia’s largest zero emission bus fleet and Australia’s largest electrified bus depot. Local manufacturing is also a priority, with eighteen new vessels constructed by SeaLink in Australia since 2017.

“It is important to us that we are innovative while remaining respectful,” Kelsian Group CEO Clint Feuerherdt said. “We seek to collaborate with the local community and stakeholders throughout the vessel design stages, and during the naming and dressing of them to ensure we are respective to the traditional landowners.

“Many of our state-of-the-art vessels showcase displays of stunning local artwork, while honouring a name that has been provided or approved by First Peoples,” he said.

SeaLink’s new Redland Bay passenger ferry ‘Talwurrapin’ was named in consultation with the local Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC), with two more new vehicle ferries to the same region named Mirrabooka meaning Southern Cross, and Yarabinjara meaning Sea Creatures, names also chosen in consultation with QYAC.

Kelsian Group is committed to Reconciliation and actively engages with Traditional Owners. Through collaboration with Land Councils, respected Elders and Indigenous artists, it demonstrates respect to Australia’s First Nations history via traditional naming of marine vessels and artwork adorning the passenger vehicles and ferries. 

Rodney Dillon, from the Southeast Aboriginal Corporation (SETAC) has previously thanked SeaLink for giving the community the opportunity for naming the new Bruny Island vessel, ‘Parrabah’, the Southeast Aboriginal language name for whale.

Kelsian Group is committed to partnering with Indigenous businesses and proactively seeks opportunities to develop these partnerships.