Name of Perth’s new ferry revealed

Transperth’s third ferry named after Perth Zoo’s iconic matriarch elephant

The new catamaran passenger ferry we are building for Transperth's Swan River service now has a name.

Here’s the official statement from the Government:

The name of Perth’s new locally-built ferry revealed

  • Transperth's third ferry named MV Tricia, after Perth Zoo's iconic matriarch elephant
  • Tricia emerges as one of the most popular names from the survey
  • The $2.6 million MV Tricia will join MV Shelley Taylor-Smith and MV Phillip Pendal

A beloved local South Perth icon who has captured the heart of Western Australians for generations, received some big recognition today, with MV Tricia announced as the chosen name for Perth's new locally-built ferry.

Perth Zoo's iconic 62-year-old Asian Elephant Tricia was among the most popular names during a month-long social media, website and in-person submission period to name the ferry.

Tricia the elephant holds a model of her namesake ferry

Tricia's long history in South Perth and the connection between ferry passengers and Zoo attendees gave her the edge. Many Western Australians have caught the ferry to go to the Zoo. Interestingly, Tricia's own moniker was chosen by public naming competition, inspired by former Miss Australia Tricia Resche.

The $2.6 million, 148-seat MV Tricia will join the MV Shelley Taylor-Smith and the MV Phillip Pendal ferrying passengers between Elizabeth Quay and Mends Street Jetty.

After the new vessel is launched, all three ferries will be rotated through service, with the older Shelley Taylor-Smith to be predominantly used as a reserve and during special events.

At 26 tonnes (with a full fuel load), the MV Tricia weighs seven times more than its namesake.

The ferry is currently having the finishing touches applied at WA boat builder Dongara Marine, before she embarks on her own big journey. The vessel will soon be taken to Geraldton to complete sea trials. It will then be loaded on to a flatbed truck and driven 400km to Perth.

The ferry will then be put in to the water at Fremantle Port - the very same port Tricia arrived at from Vietnam in 1963 - and sailed up the Swan River.

At 23.7m long, with a top speed of 16 knots, the next-generation ferry is faster and longer than its two predecessors and will have an on-board toilet, bike stowage area, wheelchair access and tinted windows.

The MV Tricia is expected to be introduced for public service before the end of the year.

Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:

"I am very excited to be here today to meet Tricia, and announce another iconic Western Australian name for our ferry - the MV Tricia.

"There were many worthy submissions, but Tricia's history in South Perth and connection to thousands of Western Australians gave her a massive advantage.

"A number of Tricia's champions said they had visited her when they were children, and now take their children and grandchildren to see her at Perth Zoo - often using the Transperth ferry to get there.

"In 2018 there were more than 648,000 journeys on Transperth ferries, a great many of those passengers either tourists or locals travelling to the Zoo. It is fitting Tricia's name will grace our newest ferry for many years to come, and I look forward to it launching later this year."

Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:

"Naming a ferry after Tricia is an acknowledgement of the enormous impact she has had on our community.

"Generations of West Australians have grown up alongside her and everyone has a story about Tricia.

"From the moment she was offloaded at the Fremantle Wharf all those decades ago she captured hearts.

"It is fitting that now visitors will be able to journey to the Zoo on a ferry named after the iconic Asian Elephant and be greeted at Mends Street jetty by a giant numbat and frilled necked lizard installations, setting the tone for a day of wildlife wonder at Perth Zoo."

What some survey respondents said about Tricia:

"The ferry ride to Mends Street to visit the Zoo is a rite of passage for all Western Australians and who better to honour than the Zoo matriarch and drawcard for generations?"

"Tricia has been a big part of Western Australian lives who will always remember her, even after she's long gone."

"Tricia is Perth Zoo's favourite elephant. She is an amazing matriarch and everyone knows her. It will be a great loss for all of Perth when she passes. Naming the ferry after her is a great way to say Tricia we will never forget you and you have been such an icon for us all."

"As the ferry is so closely associated with Zoo, naming the new ferry after the Zoo's longest term resident is a fitting tribute to Tricia the elephant, it links to the childhood memories of multiple generations, in addition to being just friendly."

"Many tourists and Perth folks travel to the Zoo by ferry. Tricia has been the biggest draw card for the Zoo for over 60 years. I first went to the Zoo as a 6-year-old, Trisha was new. Now I take my grandson - we always go to see Tricia first."