Quay works hurting trade

Ferry captain Bill Edgar and Café Paz operator Florence Chew say construction at Elizabeth Quay is hurting business.
Ferry captain Bill Edgar and Café Paz operator Florence Chew say construction at Elizabeth Quay is hurting business.

‘Because of the Elizabeth Quay the number of my passengers is down about 80 per cent and I used to do three trips a day, every day, and now I’m down to three trips for four days and I’m not replacing my skipper who soon retires,’ Captain Edgar said.

He complained that the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) construction of the adjacent quay hurt all business at the jetties.

He said he was still looking for a lawyer to work pro bono on a class action to sue the State Government for lost revenue.

However, Capt Edgar said other business operators at the prime waterfront site were still ‘scared’ to join the action.

This month, he will charge just $8 for a single ticket from East Street Jetty, Fremantle to Perth.

‘It’s a major, last-ditch effort to create more passengers and as it’s a one-way ticket it will help cafes at Barrack Street that have not been opening after 2pm because there’s not the business,’ Capt Edgar said.

Jetty operator of nine years Florence Chew said her Caf� Paz no longer traded on Sundays because of the downturn created by the construction of the quay.

Despite the fall in revenue, the Department of Transport increased her rent, she said.

‘What cheeses me off is they increased my rent by the CPI last month when things are really, really bad,’ she said.

MRA chief executive Kieran Kinsella did not say if jetty traders would be compensated.

He said no compensation claims had been received and regular meetings were held with traders during which any issue could be raised.

Commenting on the issue, Mr Kinsella said: ‘Engineering and construction works will be completed at Barrack Street Jetty by mid-2013 with a number of small improvements to the area, including a children’s playground, performance space and new cyclist facilities also due for completion in the coming weeks.’