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Robert Doyle has unveiled his first election promise, a one-year trial of a free weekday ferry service between the Docklands and north bank of the Yarra River.
At the launch of "Team Doyle" this morning on the banks of the Yarra River, lord mayoral candidate Mr Doyle said the ferry trial would cost about $500,000, would run five times a day and take about thirty minutes to sail between three stops.
The ferry would stop at the corner of Collins and Merchant Streets, Captains Walk near Etihad Stadium and between Rakia Way and Pearl River Road.
Mr Doyle said existing water taxis and ferry services mainly operated on weekends and the new service would help workers who want to travel around Docklands.
The study will run in tandem with a ferry feasibility study currently being conducted by the Department of Planning, which the government claims could link the western suburbs with the CBD.
But the $300,000 research project does not come with any promises to fund the ferry service attached, meaning the feasibility of the scheme remains uncertain.
Mr Doyle's policy launch comes after a day after the conclusion of preference deals for the city elections, which saw the Greens and Liberal-leaning duo Gary Morgan and John Elliott preference each other in an attempt to squeeze former Liberal leader Robert Doyle out of the race.
Mr Doyle, who preferenced fellow councillor and former Labor party member Brian Shanahan first, said he had ordered his preferences on the basis of merit. "That's how you should do preferences", he said this morning.
He was scathing about the promises made by other candidates - including 24 hour public transport and a free tram up Swanston Street - saying these policies were flawed because the responsibility lay with the state government, not Melbourne council.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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