Wednesday, April 17, 2024

WA Premier backs Queen Beetle’s return

WA Premier, Mark McGowan has toured Kyushu Railway Company’s (JR Kyushu) Western Australian-made jet ferry before travelling on the high-speed trimaran boat to South Korea as part of a 10-day East Asia visit.

Manufactured in Henderson by Austal Ships, the 500 passenger ferry ‘JR Queen Beetle’ (pictured) operates between Fukuoka, Japan and Busan, South Korea.

“It’s fantastic to see firsthand how Western Australian manufacturing is helping to connect Japan and South Korea,” the Premier said.

“Austal have produced a magnificent vessel, supporting almost 200 Western Australian jobs in the process and establishing a new benchmark for passenger comfort on ferries.

“I congratulate JR Kyushu for the successful relaunch and operation of the Fukuoka to Busan route since November.”

WA Premier, Mark McGowan.

Owned and operated by JR Kyushu, the JR Queen Beetle was delivered in September 2020 following its launch from Henderson in April 2020.

After a two year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ferry service between Fukuoka and Busan resumed in November last year.

The JR Queen Beetle was Austal’s first export to Japan since 1997, with 196 employees hired to build the ship in Henderson, including 31 apprentices.

A WA-headquartered shipbuilder, defence prime contractor and maritime technology partner, Austal designs, constructs and supports revolutionary defence and commercial vessels for the world’s leading operators.

The Premier is currently leading a 10-day mission to Japan and South Korea to reaffirm the State’s long-standing relationships and promote opportunities for investment, tourism, study and business in WA.

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