Pressure is mounting on Parks Victoria to review its decision to deny a pioneering Williamstown ferry business access to the Southgate berth it had used for 13 years.
Williamstown Bay and River Cruises (WBRC) owner Mark Davy, who started tourist ferry services to Williamstown in 1984, said his business was in danger of folding.
“We just need to have a spot on the Yarra – we deserve to be here,” Mr Davy said. “Why we have been excluded, I don’t know.
“We can’t keep going – we’re paying 10 or 12 grand a week for wages and we’re not carrying people.”
His call for a review of Parks Victoria’s decision is supported by Hobsons Bay council.
Cr Peter Hemphill and mayor Jonathon Marsden will seek a meeting with Parks Victoria, which told
Star Weekly it would be open to the move.
“This has been an absolute disgrace by Parks Victoria,” Cr Hemphill said. “It is anti-competitive and Williamstown tourism has been the loser out of it.
“Parks Victoria’s action has also discriminated against disabled people, as WBRC has the only boat with wheelchair access.”
Westgate Punt director Rob Horner, who has operated for the past 25 years under the West Gate Bridge, said omitting WBRC from Southbank was a “great disservice” to the city of Melburne and to Hobsons Bay.
“They are the only operator I see, who run regularly on the river, come rain hail or shine, the only operator who pick up and drop off at Scienceworks,” he said.
“Down river, I’m the troll under the bridge – I see everything and Melbourne needs WBRC.”