Ferry McFerryface has only just been christened, but it’s already polarizing maritime staff who have taken a stand against the vessel’s name and refused to work on it.
Maritime Union of Australia spokesman Paul Garrett today told 2GB Mornings he was furious with the decision to christen the last of a new fleet of Sydney Harbor ferries "Ferry McFerryface."
“The Transport Minister is demonstrating here that he treats public transport as a joke,” Garrett said.
“He’s taking the absolute mickey out of public transport in this state. Sydney Ferries has had an iconic history with Sydney Harbour and are named after iconic beaches and iconic Olympians. The workers are just frustrated with it,” he said.
The Assistant Secretary of the Sydney branch said staff will refuse to work on the newly named ferry.
Ferry McFerryface was Sydney’s second most popular choice after the now famous jokey Mc-moniker, Boaty McBoatface, the state government said on Tuesday.
Officials overruled the trend-setting favorite name that was rejected by British officials last year as the name of a new polar survey vessel, NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said.
The British vessel was ultimately christened Sir David Attenborough in honor of the naturalist and broadcaster, although one of its remotely operated submarines was named Boaty McBoatface.
“Given ‘Boaty’ was already taken by another vessel, we’ve gone with the next most popular name nominated by Sydneysiders," Constance said in a statement. “Ferry McFerryface will be the harbor’s newest icon and I hope it brings a smile to the faces of visitors and locals alike,” he said.
Ferry McFerryface joins the ranks of Trainy McTrainface, a Swedish express train, and Horsey McHorseface, a Sydney racehorse, after an international online trend started by a suggestion from a former BBC radio host.
Sydney residents have been encouraged for the past year to name the six new ferries through the Name Your Ferry website and more than 15,000 responded. The remainder have been named after prominent Australians Bungaree and Pemulwuy and medical doctors Victor Chan, Catherine Hamlin and Fred Hollows.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.