On January 5th I wrote this post about how extraordinarily expensive the sealink ferry to Kangaroo Island is. On January 9th The Bulletin published this story on the same topic which included the following gems:
SeaLink boss Jeff Ellison makes no apology for the price-gouging. He says that unlike the Bass Strait service, seen as part of the national road network, SeaLink gets no government subsidy, and is over-slugged by Adelaide for using piers. “I’d like nothing more to lower the prices but we can’t afford to.”
The island is divided about who to blame. Pengilly points the finger at SA state transport minister Pat Conlon who, he says, could “halve the price with the stroke of a pen” and release subsidies, while other islanders say the ferry company “sets the prices it wants because it can”. For his part, Conlon’s press secretary Matt Clemow said he “didn’t know it was so expensive down there”.
Ah – the power of scarcity value! And there’s nothing like a govt subsidy if you can get one, particularly if you have a monopoly.
NB: you can fly to Kangaroo Island from Adelaide. The cheapest way to drive around Kangaroo Island is probably to fly from Adelaide and pick up a hire car on the island, if a hire car company exists on the island. (I wonder if the Sealink ferry company has bought up all the hire car companies on the island?)