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Transport for NSW is responsible for the contracting of passenger ferry services in NSW. Ferries operate on a number of major NSW waterways, including Sydney Harbour and its tributaries, Pittwater, Brisbane Waters, Port Hacking and the Hunter, Clarence and Hawkesbury Rivers.

Ferry services are provided by both State Government and privately-owned operators in NSW.

Ferry operator licensing

Ferry operators must hold a contract from Transport for NSW which sets out the responsibilities of the operator in delivering passenger services. Ferry operators must comply with the Passenger Transport Act and relevant regulations.

Ferry operators can obtain further information by calling Transport for NSW's Services Division on (02) 9891 8900.

Ferries are also subject to the relevant commercial vessel and marine legislation and regulations managed by Roads and Maritime Services. For information, visit the Roads and Maritime Services website.

Register of exclusive rights

Contract Contract holder Timetable span Days of operation Route wharves and maps
NCF001 Sealink (Captain Cook)  07:00-19:38 Monday-Friday Circular Quay, Kirribilli, Jeffreys Street, Birchgrove, Greenwich Point, Bay Street (G'wich), Northwood, Longueville, Hunters Hill, Lane Cove, Pier 26 - Darling Harbour - Route map (pdf 433KB)
F001 Rogan Holdings (Cronulla) 05:30-19:00 Daily Cronulla, Bundeena - Route map (pdf 217KB)
F002 Clarence River Ferries 08:45-16:45 Daily Iluka, Yamba - Route map (pdf 154KB)
F003 Riverside Marine (Palm Beach Ferries) 7:45-20:10 Daily Palm Beach, Bennetts, Bonnie Doon, The Basin, Currawong Beach, Great Mackerel Beach - Route map (pdf 115KB)
F004 Lovett Bay Holdings (Church Point Ferry) 08:20-19:05 Daily Church Point, Bell (Vivian St), Carols (Richard Rd), Eastern (Lowanna St), Tennis Court (Pitt View St), Halls (YHA), Lovett Bay, Elvina Bay - Route map (pdf 197KB)
F006 Sealink (Captain Cook) 08:30-18:00 Daily Pier26 Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, Jeffrey Street - Route map (pdf 205KB)
F007 Coast Charter Boat (Central Coast Ferry) 06:30-19:20 Daily Woy Woy, Veterans Hall, Lintern Street, Central, Pine Ave, Empire Bay - Route map (pdf 202KB)

This Register is kept in accordance with the Passenger Transport Act 2014 No 46 Part 3 Division 1 Section 40 

Section 40 Exclusive rights                                                        

1. A passenger service contract may confer on the operator of a bus service, ferry service or rail passenger service the exclusive right to operate a service conducted according to regular routes and timetables or according to regular routes and at regular intervals in the area or route to which the contract applies.                                                        

2. An exclusive right granted under a contract under this section does not affect any right to provide the following bus, ferry or rail passenger services in the same area or on the same route:

  1. a service conducted according to one or more regular routes, in which each passenger is transported for a distance of not less than 40 kilometres,                                                        
  2. a tourist service. 

3. The following are specifically authorised by this Act for the purposes of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 of the Commonwealth and the Competition Code of New South Wales:

  1. any passenger service contract or other agreement containing a provision authorised by this section or giving effect to a provision of this section,
  2. the entering or making of any such contract or agreement,
  3. conduct authorised or required by or under the terms or conditions of any such contract or agreement.

4. Conduct authorised by subsection (3) is authorised only to the extent (if any) that it would otherwise contravene Part IV of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 of the Commonwealth and the Competition Code of New South Wales. 

5. TfNSW is to cause a register to be kept of all exclusive rights in force under a term of a contract that is authorised under this section and is to make that register publicly available.

Route Map - The route map is indicative and for illustrative purposes only.

Timetable Span - A list of current timetables is available on the Transport Info website 

Enquiries to

Drug and alcohol guidelines

Individual employees are under an obligation to take reasonable care for the health, safety and welfare of others and to cooperate with employers in their efforts to comply with the requirements of the Passenger Transport Act 1990 and the relevant occupational health and safety requirements.

Operators are responsible for ensuring that risks to health and safety in the workplace are identified and assessed, then eliminated or controlled. These risks include those posed by the use of alcohol or other drugs.

The Guidelines promote a consistent approach across the ferry sector to managing the risks posed by drug and alcohol use.

The Guidelines set out the principles governing operator policies and the approaches needed to manage this potential problem. The Guidelines state the context in which drug & alcohol testing will take place but do not prescribe the basis of that testing or how it is to be administered.

The systems an operator needs to implement the Guidelines should correlate to its size and resources.

The Guidelines shall have force subject to section 53C of the Passenger Transport Act 1990.

Last updated: 17 May 2017

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