Since Brisbane’s old wooden monohull ferries were pulled from the river, their replacements have been causing quite a stir.
Many residents aren’t convinced they’re right for Brisbane.
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has also raised serious concerns surrounding their operation and the under-staffing of onboard crews.
The MUA claims there is only one person staffing each KittyCat at any one time.
They’re required to skipper the boat, moor it to pontoons, operate the accessway, help passengers get on and off and keep count of commuters, all the while sticking to a strict timetable.
The MUA says these particular boats require at least two crew members and the lack of staff is causing serious safety concerns.
MUA Queensland’s assistant secretary Paul Gallagher said if a master was to suffer a medical episode there would be no other crew onboard to take control of the vessel or help.
“It’s the same situation if a passenger was to have a medical episode, the master can’t leave control of vessel to go and help,” Paul Gallagher said.
The MUA is demanding at least two crew members on each KittyCat.
“Quite clearly, the CityHopper and KittyCat vessels cannot operate safely carrying passengers around Brisbane City on any timetable with only one crew member,” Paul Gallagher said.
Residents are also concerned about noise pollution.
“The main issue is these KittyCats were brought up from Sydney, which has greater distances, large choppy water to pass through. These KittyCats are not designed for the calm waters of the Brisbane River, with residential directly along the water edge.” – Brisbane resident.
Those who live in riverside suburbs want the quieter wooden monohull ferries to be brought back or the noisy KittyCats to be modified.