Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

July 2nd 2008
Oil price raises Sunferries fares

Island visits to cost more With crude oil prices soaring to $140.00 US per barrel it is hardly surprising that fares on Sunferries vessels to Magnetic Island would rise. And now they will.

In a media release today, Sunferries said that soaring fuel prices have resulted in the company adjusting ticket prices to Magnetic Island by approximately 9% to accommodate the increasing expense which Sunferries has been absorbing. The new prices will be effective from 15 July 2008 and will see adult return fares increase to $29.00 and children at $14.50 and the popular adult flexis increase from $84.20 to $93.00.

According to Sunferries, the application for increased ticket prices has been approved by Queensland Transport, with Sunferries adhering to all procedures including notifying passengers 10 business days prior to increasing fares. The increase percentage is consistent with other transport providers in Queensland.

Sunferries' General Manager Darin McDonald acknowledged that the increase in fares will particularly affect Magnetic Island residents but said it is necessary if the locally owned and operated business is to continue to operate at the level of service it provides with 19 return services per day.

"We have weathered the storm of rising fuel prices at our own expense for many months now, however, due to ongoing trends and economists' predictions in the fuel industry, we had no choice but to apply for the fare increase." Mr McDonald said.

"Despite the increases, we are still able to offer one of the most affordable multi pass ticket options along the Eastern Seaboard for regular travelers with our Flexi Passes, so we encourage our customers to use these options."

Following are some of the increases:
Adult flexis up from $84.20 to $93.00
Children's and Pensioner flexis up from $42.10 to $51.00
6 monthly tickets from $1,395.00 to $1,650.00
Worker's Weekly up from $76.00 to $85.00
Adult Monthlies up from $2.00 to $290.00
Family return fares up from $58.00 to $66.00

For a full list of the new fare structure (click here)

The new fare rates for all ticket types are also available from the Sunferries Breakwater Terminal and the company is encouraging regular customers to discuss the most cost effective way for purchasing their tickets with sales staff.

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Oil price raises Sunferries fares
 
15 comments
 
Tracy
July 2nd 2008

STRADBROKE ISLAND WATER TAXI supports commuters and Stradbroke Island residents.
- Is Sunferries really offering the most affordable ferry service on the eastern sea board??? It doesn't look like it... Not only is Stradbroke water taxi significantly cheaper over a longer distance from the mainland ($60 per week compared to the $85 sunferries is charging) it also provides free commuter carparking.

Stradbroke Ferries Water Taxi Traveling time Dunwich to Point Lookout approximately 25 minutes

Workers 10 pass ticket $60
Adult return $17.00
Student return/interstate age pensioner $12.00
Student one way/interstate age pensioner $8.00
Child (5-14) return $10.00
Child (5-14) one way $6.50
Qld Pensioner (card holder) return $8.50
Qld Pensioner (card holder) one way $6.00
 
mary
July 2nd 2008
I might point out that the mothly ticket is not $252 dollars at present but $275, so is the new price of $290 equally fictitious?
 
David J
July 3rd 2008
As the price of oil marches ever onward, it becomes ever more apparent that there is no other plan or contingency in place other than to keep on putting up fares. Governments point the finger at oil companies while raking in an ever increasing tax take both at state and federal level, no wonder they love the status quo. As our carbon footprint is targeted over the coming years guess what the cunning plan is? Another tax and another price rise. The current island service is excellent but is it excessive, appropriate or necessary in its current configuration? I am the first to admit I love the speed and the service but I doubt that it can continue. The new ships are great but the cost of that speed and excess space in terms of fuel usage is going to become prohibitive and then what? I fear that this form of transport has no future. It has its place but will there be any thought of an alternative or shall we wait till tickets are for the well heeled? Is it really necessary to get to the island at 30 knots? Does the trip require the same method of propulsion for the entire trip (Im not an advocate of rowing though) Is there a need to get to the island in the quickest time?. What about a cable car? Hey thats not a bad idea - if they can traverse ravines in europe surely to the island wouldnt be all that technologically difficult. The point is, ideas take nurturing and they take time to implement - the problems not overly difficult to grasp but becomes increasingly problematic as uneccessary elements of urgency get mixed in. Then again if the Howard government and his oil cronies had accepted climate change and dwindling resources earlier, and planned accordingly for alternate strategies, we wouldnt be having this discussion. Enjoy one and all - remember - Bring on the Island Cable Car! Regards David J
 
mw
July 3rd 2008
I note that while Sunferries state that prices are up by approximately 9 per cent, why are children and pensioner flexis up 21 per cent? These are the people who can least afford a price rise
 
Peter
July 3rd 2008
re :Ferry Fares and Road Kill
To the former matter I say stop whingeing and accept the collective responsibility for rampant profligacy especially that of the last 4 decades when all the alarm bells were sounding - need I mention Peak Oil which was already in the forewarning mix come the 1960's.
Start by actively encouraging and adapting the mindset.

And it is not as if one had no choice about it as even voting options these past 4 decades actually offered some alternatives that, if exercised with thought and vision, may have considerably ameliorated matters and seen us well down the road to alternate energy sources.
The recent mea culpa from the CEO of General Motors USA is mute testimony to that.

As to the latter, Road Kill, now would appear a propitious moment to unilaterally introduce a blanket 50KPH on the island with especial focus on some of the cowboy cabbies and the island's hoon species.
After all, for most of us, it only imposes a marginally more disciplined timetable management as it concerns departure in the sense of disallowing the last minute rush.
Besides, observance of 50 KPH would significantly impact on one's fuel bill.
Perhaps Bruce may care to organise an island wide petition accordingly - he does pose the question as to what is to be done.
It would be a great start and swings the balance back a little more to our native fauna who contend with so much already.


 
Snipper
July 3rd 2008
Self-righteous lectures in pompous bureaucratise about peak oil are all very well, but these are real cost increases which affect real people. We already pay outrageous prices for fuel and many grocery items on the Island. An average 15% hike in commuting costs makes the place just that much less affordable for those of us not associated with the big end of town.

Tracy
 
chasmac
July 3rd 2008
If we want to compare with Stradbroke we need to offer some numbers and frequencies. Magnetic Island's ferries carry about 400,000 passengers per year (I'm prepared to be corrected on that but I don't expect anyone to offer exact figures). About 25-30% will be Island residents (including about 150 schoolkids) at cut price rates, the rest are 'visitors' in their various guises. About 19 services per day between 5.30am and about 10.30pm, later on weekends.
I bet the Stradbroke service is very different.
 
Azza
July 3rd 2008
It's funny, noone whinged this much when Qantas and Virgin Blue put up their costs as a result of rising fuel prices.

Explain to us who it is that's FORCING you to live on Magnetic Island??

I CHOOSE to live in Thuringowa Central, therefore I pay a bucketload for my fuel to drive to work in the city. But I don't whinge about it, because I CHOSE to live here.

Deal with it.
 
Jacko
July 4th 2008
Perhaps the increase in fares is to pay for the still broken navigation marker in Nelly Bay Harbour.
 
natalie
July 7th 2008
I could accept a 9% increase, afterall fuel has gone up but at least that amount but it is not 9% to all fares!!!! What justification is there for:

Adult flexis up by $8.80 (9%)
Children's and Pensioner flexis up by $8.90 (21%)
6 monthly tickets up by $255 (18%)
Worker's Weekly up by $9 (12%)
Adult Monthlies up by $38 (15%)
Family return fares up by $28 (15%)

You would think that Sun Ferries values it regular travellers, but that I guess the price rises speak for themselves. Disgusted!
 
Philip George Wilson
July 8th 2008
Phillippe'
Interesting to see comparison between Stradbroke ferries and Sunferries. Actual difference in distance 1.5 miles, reason trip to straddy takes 25 mins is that boat travels at 22 knts. More to the point straddy ferries has gone home to bed at 6.30.
At Bay Is. Transit service in Southern Moreton Bay A monthly costs $288.00 but it cost you $200 to park your car for 3 mths and you sit on plastic seats with the water washing across the floor in wet weather.
So all in all Sunferries service is pretty good in comparison
 
George Thompson
July 8th 2008
You guys don't know how good you have it. Try commuting to Rottnest Island - similar distance but more than double the prices and only half the services daily.
 
chasmac
July 8th 2008
Can't we have this discussion without various parties giving a commentary on whether or not we should have any discussion? Azza, you may have chosen where to live and you may make the choice whether to drive yourself using state subsidised petrol or catch (state subsidised) public transport. Our public transport (the ferry) is not subsidised (except for pensioners etc) but there is no reason why we should not question the state government when it approves Sunferries' application to raise prices. It may not make a difference to the decision but the exercise of feedback is the best mechanism we have. I notice that no one has yet calculated the percentage price rise in the most common ticket - the adult return fare. All those flexis, weeklies and monthlies are nearly half the price - that's why they get hit hardest.
Mr Thompson, I don't think it's possible to commute from Magnetic Island to Rottnest Island but I look forward to the possibility.
 
Azza
July 9th 2008
Thanks for your point of view chasmac. As you quite correctly pointed out, no one has posted the percentage price increase for an adult return. Well, I just did. And it's a measly 8.6%.

Natalie, for those residents on the Island, I find it extremely hard to believe that they would not take advantage of the various ticket options such as monthly's or six monthly's which, based on a return trip daily, brings the cost of each return trip down to $9.67 and $9.17 respectively. That's cheap as chips compared to a one-off adult return ticket that less-frequent travellers such as myself would pay - in fact, less than a third of the price!! You should probably be grateful they provide that option at all. If travellers such as you are so "disgusted" by what you consider to be unjustified increases, maybe you should take a stand and get the barge over to the Island instead. Once again, it's a free world and that's your CHOICE. Come to think of it, you proabably shouldn't fly with Qantas, Virgin or Jet Star either, seeing they raised their fares to counter the huge fuel costs too.

Chasmac, as for your point about government subsidised public transport, may I point out that the reason your "public" transport from the island is not subsidised is because it is NOT public transport. My understanding is that it is a privately owned enterprise. And I would assume that if the state government felt the prices proposed by this privately owned ferry business were unreasonable, it would not approve them - it would look at other options (such as refusing the increase, and putting out tenders for another ferry company to provide the Mag Isl services).

Just my 2 cents.
 
chasmac
July 10th 2008
Azza, back in the days when Queensland Rail and metropolitan buses were owned and operated by the state government "public transport" meant government transport. You know as well as I do that this is no longer the case. Queensland Rail is partially privatised and privately owned locomotives and some rolling stock use 'publicly' owned railway lines. Sunbus, like Hermit Park Bus, is a private company licenced to provide 'public transport'. Sunbus is protected from competition by the licencing process - otherwise an unprincipled competitor would cherry-pick the peak hour times and provide no service on weekends, at night or on holidays.
Sunferries (and Magnetic Island Bus Service) are in exactly the same position - protected from uncompetitive competition in order that a useful public transport service is provided at a reasonable price. Without that protection a competitor would drive the service down and both businesses would be ruined. You might think that is unlikely but that is exactly what happened here in the 1990s. Prices sky high, service and working conditions down low and no money for maintenance, night services etc. Both companies went to the wall.
By the way - your expose does not explain why Queensland petrol is subsidised or why it should be. Or why it's more than 2 cents. Some things just don't make sense.


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