Monday 02 March 2020

A brand-new ferry, unlocking business opportunities on the Tiwi Islands, is now operational.

With no bridge across the Apsley Strait, the ferry will travel between Bathurst and Melville Islands and will be an important asset in keeping the Tiwi Islands communities connected.

Funded by the Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development through a $500,000 grant to the Tiwi Islands Regional Council, the ferry replaces an older, smaller model.

The 14.5 x 5.5 metre barge has been fabricated by Territory business, Custom Works NT at its Winnellie workshop in Darwin and comes with a custom-built trailer that will be stored at Wurrumiyanga.

The construction of the barge has supported seven jobs at Custom Works NT, including two apprentices who were brought on board especially for the project.

This new and improved ferry transport unlocks new opportunities for the NT and the Tiwi Islands by:

  • Building an accessible link to country;
  • Creating business and tourism opportunities for the region; and
  • Enabling affordable transport for essential services such as plumbers, electricians and other locally based tradespeople across the Apsley Strait.

A local team of four qualified coxswains will operate the ferry during daylight hours on weekdays.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner and Tiwi Islands Regional Council Mayor, Leslie Tungutalum officially launched the new ferry, called Murantingala 1, at a community celebration which included traditional dancers and singers.

If you’re looking to speak about investment opportunities in the Tiwi Islands, please contact our Senior Business Manager, Hannah Barraza on 8944 0900.


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