PRELIMINARY works to improve the Sorrento ferry terminal are expected to start within weeks.
Searoad Ferries CEO Matt McDonald said, “preliminary marine works will commence in late March or April with construction commencing the middle of the year, at this stage”.
McDonald said further updates would be released “in the coming weeks”.
The planned upgrades have drawn mixed reactions from the Sorrento community, with many on social media welcoming the refurbishment and others saying it will likely increase fares.
Searoad Ferries has stated that the new terminal development would feature “modern facilities and state-of-the art amenities, including new passenger waiting areas, improved loading and uploading facilities”.
The ferry travels from Sorrento to Queenscliff, where the terminal there has been recognised as “on the world stage” after being upgraded last year.
The Queenscliff terminal includes a modern cafe and lounge, retail area catering for local artists and makers, and refurbished waiting areas.
In 2020 the state government gave $5 million towards the $22 million redevelopment of the Sorrento ferry precinct.
Former Nepean MP Chris Brayne said at the time the finance for the redevelopment – part of a $40 million upgrade to the Queenscliff to Sorrento ferry service – included $16 million from Searoad Ferries and $1 million from Mornington Peninsula Shire.
Half of the state government’s $5 million will go to Searoad Ferries for works in and around the terminal, including improving public amenities and access for visitors, and half to the shire for pedestrian and roadworks connecting it to Point Nepean Road.
Work was supposed to start in 2021.