Will It Ever Stop? SYD Names New Harbour Vessel Ferry McFerryface
Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
Here’s proof-positive that we live in a social media-driven world.
In the (arguably) grand tradition of Britain’s ‘Boaty McBoatface,’ Australian authorities are christening one of the new ferries crossing Sydney’s world famous harbour as ‘Ferry McFerryface,’ but some people aren’t amused.
The New South Wales state government announced the name for one of its six new ferries on Tuesday after a public vote, with Transport Minister Andrew Constance deeming it “one for the kids.”
Ferry McFerryface was actually the second choice in the Australian poll, behind Boaty McBoatface, the name also chosen by the British public in a 2016 online vote to name a new polar research vessel.
The British government overturned that vote, instead naming the vessel after leading naturalist David Attenborough, but failed to stem an internet craze that led to temporary copycats like Trainy McTrainface.
The name Boaty McBoatface eventually was given to a smaller research vessel on board the David Attenborough.
Australian authorities said they planned to comply with the public vote, although they passed on winning entry Boaty, given the lack of originality.
“We asked Sydney to name their new ferries, and we have listened,” Constance said in a statement. “Ferry McFerryface will be the harbour’s newest icon, and I hope it brings a smile to the faces of visitors and locals alike.”
But the country’s Maritime Union, whose members staff the ferry fleet, failed to see the funny side.
Union spokesman Paul Garrett said workers were frustrated by the decision, noting that ferries have traditionally been named after Sydney’s beaches and successful Olympians.
“The transport minister is demonstrating here that he treats public transport as a joke,” Garrett told 2GB radio.