This sounds fine, and I sincerely hope it will be, although there are a few minor alarm bells ringing.
Last time we waited for a new ferry to arrive, it took more than two years. The time before that was more than two-and-a-half years. On both occasions Sea SA had hoped to resume trips from Wallaroo to Lucky Bay much sooner.
By the time November rolls around, the service will have been operating for less than six months out of a possible four years.
Going back further, we have had a local ferry service for less than three years out of a possible eight-and-a-half years since mid-2009.
Now a temporary closure for the winter as of June 1 last year has become a longer-term absence.
This time Sea SA has already shifted its estimated return date from September to November. The company said the service will resume only if the ongoing construction of port facilities at Lucky Bay are completed. This makes sense and is, in all fairness, beyond the company’s control.
However, it’s worth noting when the service finished last year, the Lucky Bay project was expected to take a further four months. That means it should have been finished by now. The fact there are now questions about whether it will be done by November – nine months’ time – just adds another reason for people to wonder exactly if and when the ferry will run again.
Let’s hope this new ferry can arrive on time. It may be Sea SA’s last hope of restoring some goodwill amongst the locals whose support the service will desperately need.
Nick Perry, Editor