Future for Freshwater ferry secured
Ferry lovers will be able to enjoy Freshwater services on weekends after the NSW Government confirmed its plan to retain one of the four iconic vessels.
Minister for Transport Andrew Constance said the decision was about balancing the needs of customers and NSW taxpayers, while acknowledging the community’s strong attachment to the Freshwater class ferries.
“We are pressing ahead with upgrades to our ferry fleet to ensure the needs of our customers are met into the future,” Mr Constance said.
“However, like any good government should, we are willing to listen to the community and adapt our plans to get better outcomes for all. Our decision means customers can continue to get on board and ride a Freshwater over the next few years which is great news for the many people who hold them so dear.”
Of the four Freshwater vessels currently operating between Circular Quay and Manly, the Collaroy, which is the youngest in the fleet, will be kept on the Harbour until 2023.
Mr Constance said the retiring Freshwater ferries will be replaced with a new generation of Emerald class ferries which will better suit the needs of customers in the future.
“The Freshwater class hold a lot of fond memories for many but it’s important we keep pace with demand by continuing to modernise our fleet in line with many other leading ferry networks around the world.
“Operating Emerald class vessels will allow us to add more weekly services for customers on the F1 Manly route which is much needed considering it’s the busiest in the country.
“The new ferries also offer better value for money and will enable savings of around $6 million a year. They will also be fully accessible and more energy efficient,” Mr Constance said.
Planning is continuing into the future use of the remaining three vessels and at the appropriate time, the NSW Government will consult with private tourism and heritage operators, who are interested in operating and maintaining the Freshwater ferries.